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'He cried out suddenly': Boy, 6, undergoes surgery after toe gets stuck in MRT station escalator

'He cried out suddenly': Boy, 6, undergoes surgery after toe gets stuck in MRT station escalator
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

Here's why one should always be cautious when using escalators.

A six-year-old boy was caught in an escalator accident that left his smallest toe on his left foot bloody and dislocated, Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday (July 19).

The boy, who was travelling with his parents and younger brother, went down an escalator at Botanic Gardens MRT station on the afternoon of July 1.

He stood beside his mother on the escalator, right behind his father who was with his younger brother.

"Our older son was wearing a pair of Crocs at the time and was just standing there, but halfway down the escalator, he cried out suddenly," the boy's mother, surnamed Liang, recalled.

"My husband reacted swiftly and saw that our son's foot had been caught by the escalator, so he immediately pulled him out."


Although there weren't many bystanders around, some offered assistance but Liang declined because she didn't think her son's injury was that severe.

She found out later, however, that the wound was deep and bled profusely. His last toe also appeared to be on the verge of being torn off.

Liang, 33, told Shin Min: "I was in a panic then; my husband instructed me to let the staff know, and once I did, they switched off the escalator before bringing us to a first aid room."

Staff members then called an ambulance over and paramedics applied first aid before sending the boy to the National University Hospital.

Liang shared that her son was found to have suffered a dislocated toe and several lacerations on his foot that required a two-hour surgery. He was also given 25 days of medical leave.

"At the moment, they've also inserted a metal rod into his toe to aid in recovery," Liang added.


According to the couple, their son had claimed that he was standing still on the escalator when the accident occurred, Shin Min reported.

A photo of their son's Crocs footwear following the accident showed a large hole near the sole of the foam clog.

"Our son is still terrified of escalators and so are we," Liang admitted. "At present, we all prefer to take elevators instead."

Gift basket, but no compensation

Liang also shared with Shin Min that they had received a gift basket from MRT staff following the incident.

However, 12 days after her son's mishap, she was told that an investigation had determined that there were no issues with the escalator in question.

"For the past few weeks, we've had to take turns bringing our son to the hospital for follow-up treatments to clean the wound. We hope that authorities can compensate us for the medical expenses and our losses," Liang implored.

She said staff had informed them that the case had to be transferred to another department and will require at least seven more days of investigation.


Liang also highlighted that the station's first aid procedures had room for improvement.

"The staff didn't call an ambulance immediately and instead took us to the first aid room before determining that the wound was too deep for them to deal with.

"They even asked if we wanted to call a cab or an ambulance — it feels unprofessional and also wasted a lot of precious time."

Preventing accidents

While escalators are a common sight in Singapore, there are still risks involved when riding them.

In 2020, a toddler had to be rescued by Singapore Civil Defence Force personnel after his foot got trapped in an escalator at VivoCity. The boy too, was wearing Crocs at the time.

Last year, a five-year-old girl had the skin on her hand ripped off, after her hand got stuck in an ultraviolet steriliser attached to an escalator at Asia Square Tower 1.

To ensure the safety of children, parents should always be aware of their surroundings and be alert to what their child is doing when outside the home, according to an article by theAsianparent.

It added that children should not be allowed to play near escalators, travellators or lifts and older children should be instructed to stand in the middle of escalator steps. Parents should also hold their child's hand until they step off.

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