Escalator step buckles after couple with baby in stroller get off: Dos and don'ts of riding escalators


SINGAPORE - A step in an escalator at White Sands Shopping Mall in Pasir Ris buckled on Saturday (Jan 21), just after a couple with a baby in a stroller stepped off.

Fortunately, no one was injured.

Escalator incidents have been in the spotlight recently, with the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) telling The Straits Times in a report on Jan 2 that it had received reports of 63 cases since Nov 1, 2016.

Of these, 95 per cent of them were attributed to "user behaviour".

Escalator users commonly lose their balance while carrying heavy or bulky objects.

Here are some dos and don'ts while taking an escalator, according to a BCA advisory.


1. Hold on to the handrail.

2. Accompany young children on the escalator.

3. Push the emergency button to stop the escalator for emergencies.

4. Stand within the yellow lines marked out on the escalator steps.

5. Use the lift instead if you are pushing a trolley, pram or luggage, or have limited mobility.


1. Stop or loiter at the landing area, as this obstructs other passengers.

2. Be distracted by your mobile device, and do not drag or slide your feet off at the end of the escalator.

3. Play or run on the escalator, or lean over the handrail.

4. Stand near the sides of the escalator, as soft footwear may get stuck in the gaps.

5. Stand at the edge of escalator steps, as this can cause a loss of balance.

Here's a look at five recent escalator incidents:

1. Jan 11, 2017:

A stroller was wedged between escalator steps at Raffles Place MRT station as it approached the upper landing.

The downward pressure exerted on its wheels caused the steps to dislodge and triggered a mechanism that stopped the escalator, BCA said.

The child in the stroller was unhurt.

2. Dec 15, 2016:

A metal piece broke off from an escalator step at AMK Hub shopping mall, piercing a young boy's Crocs shoe.

The five-year-old boy was reportedly not injured.

3. Nov 16, 2016:

A man in his 20s was taken to Singapore General Hospital after his foot was caught in an escalator at Bugis Junction.

He was stuck for about half an hour, with the Singapore Civil Defence Force releasing his foot with hydraulic rescue tools.

Man's foot gets stuck in Bugis Junction escalator

  • A man got his foot stuck between the plates of an escalator in Bugis Junction on Wednesday (Nov16) at about 9pm.
  • Stomp reader Maohuan, who witnessed the scene, submitted a video to the citizen journalism website showing the rescue process. He stated that the man looked to be in his thirties was dressed "in formal attire with a jacket and tie, with leather shoes".
  • According to a statement from the SCDF, officers were alerted to the incident at 9.16pm on Wednesday.
  • The man in his twenties was rescued using hydraulic rescue tools and conveyed to the Singapore General Hospital, said the SCDF.

4. Nov 12 2016:

A 64-year-old retiree was warded at an intensive care unit, after he fell down an escalator at Bishan MRT station.

Mr Lim Chwee Leong underwent surgery immediately after the accident to remove a blood clot in his brain.

He woke up from his coma on Jan 11 this year.

64-year-old man in coma after falling down MRT escalator

  • Retiree Lim Chwee Leong, 64, woke up from his coma on Wednesday (Jan 11), two months after he fell backwards at an escalator at Bishan MRT station.
  • The incident was among 60 plus others that took place late last year (2016) and cast a spotlight on the safety of the elderly in using escalators.
  • When The Straits Times visited Mr Lim at Tan Tock Seng Hospital on Wednesday (Jan 11) evening and chatted with him, he was able to nod in response to simple questions. He was also able to move his right leg and hand slightly.
  • It was the first time Mr Lim had spoken since the accident near the MRT station's exit D on Nov 12.
  • His 46-year-old son, Mr Lim Ka Hock, told ST that he received the "good news" in the afternoon through a phone call from his father's girlfriend from the hospital.
  • "She was yelling in his ear, telling him about how so many people have been helping us," he said. "He will need more time to recover, but I am overjoyed to hear this good news."
  • Mr Lim said his father had told the girlfriend that he remembered he had a fall at the MRT station.
  • There were 63 accidents involving escalators in November and December, according to figures from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) last month (Dec). Nearly four out of five such accidents involved those aged above 60.
  • Several people have reached out to Mr Lim's family after reading about the incident to offer money and food, including canned items and biscuits.

5. April 3, 2016:

A man in his 70s fell from an escalator at a shopping mall in Sembawang.

SCDF responded to the accident at Sun Plaza, dispatching an ambulance to the scene.

The man was taken conscious to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.