Near accident while riding faulty escalator

I nearly became a victim of escalator impairment in Tanglin Mall ("Mum saves son before fatal fall into escalator pit" and "Toddler's arm stuck for 30 minutes in escalator in China", ST Online; both published last Tuesday).

While out shopping, my husband and I were riding an ascending escalator in Tanglin Mall when, suddenly, we heard a sharp crackle followed by a couple of loud pops as we neared the top.

Before we could register the situation, the mechanical stairs below us wobbled and thankfully, my husband shouted at me to hop out of my shoe.

It turned out that the teeth at the edge of the escalator runway had cracked, revealing a gap big enough to wedge an adult's foot in.

The scariest part of this whole episode was that there was no safety mechanism to halt the escalator from moving should any of its parts malfunction.

My husband had to press the emergency button in order to stop its operation.

This close shave has compelled me to highlight the importance of regular maintenance and strict upkeep of mall equipment.

Especially with ageing malls, the building management has to be mindful of the safety pitfalls within its premises.

Everyone also has a part to play and ought to be more aware of the surroundings.

When even an adult can come so close to falling victim to an escalator mishap, the risk is surely even higher for a child or an elderly person.

Lim Sin Yee (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2015, with the headline 'Near accident while riding faulty escalator'. Print Edition | Subscribe