A woman died in central China when part of an escalator she was travelling on in a shopping centre collapsed under her feet and she fell through the gap. The woman, aged 30, managed to push her two-year-old son to safety at the top of the escalator before she fell into the machinery, the Wuhan Evening News reported.
Surveillance video at the shopping mall in Jingzhou shows the woman holding her son as she prepares to get off the escalator when a footplate collapses under her feet. She was stuck in the hole and, with only her upper body above the structure, she pushed her son forwards and he was caught by a shop assistant standing near the top of the escalator
The woman fell beneath the floor only a few seconds later after another shop assistant tried to grab her arm and failed. The South China Morning Post has not published the video as some readers might find it disturbing.
Relatives said the woman, who was only identified by her surname Xiang, was shopping with her husband when the accident happened. The husband was behind her wife and son and had yet to take the escalator from the fifth to the sixth floor, the newspaper reported.
An unnamed sourced said the accident was probably caused by workers failing to tighten screws during maintenance on one of the escalator's footplates.
The shopping mall has yet to make a formal statement about the accident.
It took rescuers nearly four hours to recover the woman's body, according to the newspaper. Twelve people were injured last year after an escalator on the subway in Shanghai started going backwards.
One boy was killed in a similar accident on Beijing’s subway in 2011 when an escalator went into reverse.