The world is still reeling from the shock of watching the China escalator mishap video, but new evidence has surfaced, proving that it could’ve been prevented.

Chinese Mother Killed Escalator
Source: YouTube screenshot

The tragic escalator accident at the Anliang department store in Hubei’s Jingzhou city, which claimed the life of a mother who pushed her toddler to safety, could have been prevented by 2 shopping mall employees who witnessed the deadly problem themselves moments before the fatal plunge. The mall employees had experienced a close shave just minutes earlier, new surveillance footage has shown. They can be seen losing their balance in the same place the metal floor boards collapsed at the top of the escalator.

China’s state broadcaster CCTV released a 2-minute video that captures how a female mall employee had travelled down the escalator from the 7th to the 6th floor.



Officials said the 2 employees actually had 5 minutes to alert authorities and shut off the escalator after they discovered the loose panels.

Instead of turning the escalator off, they prodded the panels with their foot and gave the doomed mother a verbal warning, pointing at the danger. But the last-minute notice was not enough to save Xiang Liujuan. The mother is seen in her last moments alive lifting her 2-year-old son up and pushing him out of harm’s way as she plunged through a gaping hole. Rescue crews reportedly took 4 hours to remove the woman’s body from the escalator, which showed “no signs of life”. The incident made international headlines.

Her heartbroken husband Zhang Wei told local news channel, Wuhan Evening News, “It was too late. My wife fell even before the assistant spoke out her last word.”

Pic shows: Zhang Wei  holding the child. A mum was killed after slipping through an escalator panel and being sucked into the mechanism, after she just  managed to push her young son to safety. Tragic Xiang Liujuan,30, was at a shopping mall in Jingzhou city of central China’s Hubei Province when she and her  two -year-old son fell through a metallic access panel after reaching the top of the escalator on the seventh floor. Surveillance footage from the store shows the horrific  moment Liujuan’s begins to tumble , thrusting her three-year-old son upwards and handing him over to shop assistants standing at the top of the escalators. While Liujuan’s son was rescued safely, the escalator continued rolling and she was dragged into the mechanism, crushing her to death as she disappears from sight. Zhang Wei, Liujuan’s husband can also be seen in the surveillance footage standing at the bottom of the escalator. He panics as the incident unfolds before his eyes and scrambles to find the nearest lift. Jingzhou public security bureau and the local fire department were called to Anliang shopping mall and spent some four hours disassembling the escalator. However, by the time they managed to free Liujuan, she was already showing no signs of life. Initial reports said that maintenance was recently carried out on the escalator, and that workers had forgotten to screw the access panel back in place. According to Zhang Wei, his son liked escalators and Liujuan was accompanying him on a ride between the sixth and seventh floors. An investigation into the cause of the accident is continuing. (ends)
Xiang Liujuan’s husband, Zhang Wei, holding his son (Source: Daily Mail)

The tragedy has cast an unfavourable spotlight on China’s safety standards, with criticism also levelled at a maintenance crew which forgot to screw down the panel after repairs. Netizens are also blaming the 2 female employees for not turning off the escalator’s mechanism or stationing themselves at the bottom to warn off shoppers.

Hubei has issued a province-wide ban on the use of elevators and escalators by the Shenlong Elevator Company, which made the escalator in the mall.

Sources: NY Daily News, Straits Times, BBC.

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