Broken escalator at Causeway Bay mall sparks safety scare in Hong Kong

The damaged escalator in Hong Kong's Times Square.
The damaged escalator in Hong Kong's Times Square. PHOTO: FRANKO LUN/FACEBOOK
Mall-goers looking at the damaged escalator as they take the opposite escalator up to the second floor.
Mall-goers looking at the damaged escalator as they take the opposite escalator up to the second floor. PHOTO: FRANKO LUN/FACEBOOK

Online photos of a damaged escalator at a popular shopping mall in Hong Kong has sparked safety concerns in the wake of several related incidents that plagued mainland China.

Facebook user Franko Lun's post last Sunday (Aug 2) morning, which showed images of broken pieces scattered at the bottom of a escalator in Times Square mall in Causeway Bay, was shared widely and picked up by Hong Kong media.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP), quoting a Times Square spokesman, said the incident occurred at around 10am when the escalator stopped. It was believed to have been caused by the "normal activation of the escalator's safety protection mechanism".

 
 

No one was injured and the escalator resumed service more than four hours later.

The mall also assured shoppers that all its escalators undergo regular maintenance.

The Chinese have been on the edge ever since a deadly incident claimed the life of a 30-year-old woman in Hubei on July 26.

This was followed by two more high-profile escalator-related cases in the country, which resulted in a one-year-old boy's arm being mangled and a 35-year-old cleaner having his leg amputated after their limbs got stuck.

A government official whom SCMP spoke to, however, said he is confident that a repeat of the July 26 tragedy is not possible in Hong Kong as the city does not use that particular model of escalator manufactured by the Shenlong Elevator Company.

Hubei has since issued a province-wide ban on the use of escalators and elevators made by the Suzhou firm.