Chinese woman’s narrow escape on escalator came after checks in city found 55,000 machines were safe

Heath and safety inspections had been ordered in Shenyang, Liaoning province, in July after Chinese mother died while using an escalator in Hubei province when flooring gave way

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 September, 2015, 5:49pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 September, 2015, 5:56pm

A woman's narrow escape when the flooring of an escalator gave way at a shopping mall in Shenyang on Sunday afternoon was in same city where officials had already carried out checks on 55,000 escalators since July and found them to be safe, mainland media reports.

Heath and safety checks were ordered in the city in Liaoning province after a young Chinese mother died using an escalator at a mall in a different province because of exactly the same problem – when she fell into the moving parts of the machinery as the flooring gave way.

The death of Xiang Liujuan, 30 – seconds after managing to push her son to safety – was recorded on security videos at the mall in Suzhou, in Hubei province and went viral after being published on social media, sparking nationwide safety fears.

The news website Chinanews.com reported on Wednesday that 55,000 escalators in Shenyang had been declared safe after the inspections, which were ordered after Xiang’s death in July.

Chinanews.com said officials carrying out the checks in Shenyang had tried to reassure residents by placing stickers on all the metal floor panels of escalators they had checked, which said, “We’ve already stepped on this area” in both Chinese and English.

However, only on Sunday the unnamed woman in her 20s was going down an escalator at the mall in Shenyang when she heard the loud crash as metal flooring panel behind her fell inside the moving machine, Liaoshen Evening News reported.

She rushed to the bottom of the escalator in a panic until she was safely standing on the floor below.

The Liaoshen Evening News reported  that the use of all escalators at the mall had been halted on Sunday while a safety inspection was being carried out.

However, the Chinanews.com report did not say whether the escalator involved in this accident was among those that had previously been inspected and declared safe by the city’s officials.