Woman Leaps To Safety Moments Before A Faulty Escalator Could Maim Her

When you're at the mall, do you take the stairs or the elevator? Or do you go for the in between and hop on the escalator?

Personally, I'm partial to the escalator. It's always moving, so you don't have to wait for it to reach your floor, and taking the stairs can be hard if you have a lot of bags with you or even kids.

But for one family in Singapore, a routine ride on an escalator almost turned into a serious disaster.

Stomper Tran Huu Minh was with his 4-year-old daughter and the girl's nanny when they were passing through a local mall on their way back from picking up the daughter from school. Usually they take the stairs, but the young girl was tired so she was in a stroller.

"Usually she (his daughter) would walk with me. But yesterday she was sleepy, so she was in the pram," said Mr. Tran, who works in the IT sector.

But that one decision could have cost them everything.

"We were taking the escalator down," recalls Mr. Tran. "Our [nanny] was quite a number of steps behind. When we had alighted, the escalator made an incredible crunching sound, so I shouted for her [the nanny] to jump. Luckily she did, because exactly where she was standing was where the step collapsed in."

The nanny managed to jump off the escalator with just a scratch, but it could have ended a lot worse.

The stairs of the escalator buckled, which could have caused an extremely serious injury to any of the customers using it at the time. But what concerns Mr. Tran is that the mall didn't seem to care at all.

"I was disappointed with the public safety issue," he says. "After the incident happened, one security guard turned up five minutes later. After that, about three or four technicians came, but they still didn't cordon off the escalator until awhile later."

It took more than a day for the mall to get in touch with Tran, according to him. They've since released a statement regarding the incident.

"Two shoppers with a stroller were using the escalator when the incident happened. One of the shoppers suffered a scratch on her leg. We are in touch with the shoppers. We share the shopper's concern and regret any inconvenience caused. We also continue to encourage all shoppers with luggage, prams or trolleys to use the lifts instead."

The mall says they are working with the escalator vendor, OTIS, to investigate the incident. They are also in touch with the Building and Construction Authority.

BCA has also released a statement regarding the incident:

"BCA will also be conducting an independent investigation into the incident. The escalator will only be allowed to resume operation after rectification works are completed, to the satisfaction of BCA."

This is not the first time escalators have lead to injury. One boy in Texas almost lost his foot after it got caught in an escalator.

Will you keep using escalators, knowing they have the potential to do something like this?