Escalator glass panel shattered by passers-by attempting to free woman who got stuck at Bugis Junction

The incident, which happened at about 9.20pm, left glass shards strewn across the top of the down-riding escalator leading towards Bugis MRT station.
The incident, which happened at about 9.20pm, left glass shards strewn across the top of the down-riding escalator leading towards Bugis MRT station. PHOTO: FACEBOOK SCREENGRAB

SINGAPORE - The glass portion of an escalator railing in Bugis Junction was shattered by passers-by in a bid to free a woman whose arm was said to be stuck in a gap between the escalator and the wall on Thursday evening (March 15).

The incident, which happened at about 9.20pm, left glass shards strewn across the top of the down-riding escalator leading towards Bugis MRT station.

Mr Javian Tham, a 19-year-old Institute of Technical Education student, told The Straits Times on Sunday that he was among the six people who pried the woman's arm out of the gap by pulling on the escalator railing.

"The woman had just got onto the escalator and somehow, her arm instantly got caught in the small gap. She did not seem to panic much, but kept moving backwards to stop herself from falling," said Mr Tham, who immediately pressed the escalator's emergency stop button.

He said that as the woman was unable to free herself, he and two other men "grabbed the railing and pulled as hard as possible" till the glass panel shattered. One of them had also earlier poured a bottle of water over the woman's arm to help ease it out of the gap.

There were also three women who stepped forward to help, he added.

The woman, who did not seem to be able to speak English, remained silent throughout the process, he said, adding that she was with another man.

Mr Tham, who was heading home after a visit to the gym, said that he had minor cuts on his left leg due to the glass pieces. 

Bugis Junction managing agent Wong Joo Siong told The Straits Times on Sunday that it was informed of a "glass breakage incident", caused by the force exerted by several passers-by as they tried to stop the escalator and help the woman. 

Mr Wong had previously told the Straits Times that the woman's dress had been caught in the escalator. 


The glass portion of an escalator railing in Bugis Junction which shattered after passers-by tried to help a woman free her arm. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

"Security personnel were immediately deployed to assist and cordon off the affected area," Mr Wong added.

No one was hurt in the incident. 

Mr Wong said that the affected escalator is currently closed for repairs.

Note: This story has been edited for clarity.