Escalator shock for Shanghai subway commuters

SHANGHAI - Commuters using an escalator in a Shanghai subway station on Tuesday afternoon panicked when one of the steps suddenly tilted up, with some screaming and crying, and others frantically trying to get off the machine.

Fortunately, the escalator in the Hongkou Football Stadium station quickly came to a stop automatically, and no one was injured, reported the Shanghai Morning Post yesterday.

The escalator incident was the second in the eastern Chinese city this month, coming after another on Aug 1 in which a cleaner working in a shopping mall had his foot trapped in the section of an escalator where the steps meet the floor plate.

The 35-year-old's foot was so badly injured that it had to be amputated.

A week before that, a 30-year-old mother died after she fell into a gap at the top of an escalator at a shopping mall in central China's Jingzhou city, as the floor plate had come loose.

The escalators in the two Shanghai incidents were made by Shanghai Mitsubishi, according to Shanghai-based news website The Paper.

In the latest incident, the subway operator quickly contacted the company to send workers to repair the faulty escalator and examine two others at the station.

Subway commuters in transit had to leave the station to switch to another train, with the three escalators - which were installed in 2012 - shut down.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

The recent spate of incidents has prompted concern in China about the safety and maintenance of escalators.

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