Chinatown Complex Market in Smith Street is frequented by seniors, and there are lifts and escalators for their convenience.
But when an escalator there stalled recently, I watched nervously as frail seniors, choosing convenience over personal safety, attempted to walk down these escalators. This was because no one had set up barriers to block them off.
Steps on an escalator are typically higher than those on staircases. For the elderly, walking up and down escalators that aren't working can be difficult and dangerous .
An escalator in a mall in Kowloon, Hong Kong had passed an inspection on March 23 but malfunctioned two days later, and left close to 20 people injured.
Markets and food centres are unlike shopping malls where security officers would promptly put up barricades at a stalled escalator to prevent shoppers from using it.
The town council in charge of the maintenance works could work with stallholders or other partners to quickly erect a security barrier around an escalator when it breaks down. .
The elderly can also be directed towards lifts, if there are any in the building.
Loong Chik Tong