Sheng Siong has responded to the viral trolley incident that ran over two shoppers.
Here’s what really happened that caused the trolley to take the travelator.
How Did The Trolley Travel Down The Travelator?
In closed-circuit television footage circulating around the internet, the time stamp shows that the incident happened at about 3:50pm on 25 February.
Responding to The Straits Times, a Sheng Siong spokesman said the incident occurred at its Block 105 Canberra Street outlet.
A staff member can be seen unloading boxes near the top platform of the downward-moving travelator.
The staff member was busy pushing a carton away, thus leaving the trolley unattended.
Speaking to The Straits Times, Associate Professor Zhou Kun from Nanyang Technological University’s School of Mechanica and Aerospace Engineering explained why the trolley managed to get onto the travelator.
He said that when a carton box was placed at the side of the trolley nearer to the escalator, momentum was induced to the trolley along the incline. This caused the trolley to slide downwards to the travelator.
Additionally, the insufficient friction force between the travelator and trolley wheels meant that it was unable to resist the motion of the trolley.
With the powers of gravity, the trolley thus freely accelerated down the escalator.
Ran Over 2 People
The unattended trolley got onto the travelator after a woman did, and then picked up speed.
The woman was barely a third of her way down the travelator when the trolley hit the right side of her body from behind, causing her to fall down.
She could only sprawl face down on the ground in shock as the trolley hurtled down the travelator at another unsuspecting man at the bottom.
After running over the second person, the trolley then proceeded to crash haphazardly across the floor.
Staff Didn’t Manage To Stop Trolley
One staff was shown running past the fallen woman, trying to reach the trolley before it ran another person down. Another staff member seemed to have tried to stop the travelator by pressing the emergency stop button.
However, their efforts were in vain as the trolley ran a second person down at the end of the travelator.
Reader Bao: Eh, why didn’t one of the staff help the woman up instead of chasing the trolley?
It actually makes sense that they tried to stop the trolley first, as the trolley would have picked up even more speed after rolling down the entire length of the travelator.
The person at the bottom would have borne the full impact of the trolley’s momentum and gotten even more injured than the first lady did. Unfortunately, the trolley was simply too fast for the staff to stop.
Sheng Siong Apologised
The Sheng Siong spokesman confirmed that no ambulance was called to the scene.
“Our store personnel had immediately apologised and extended assistance to the two customers. The health and safety of our customers is of utmost importance to us. We will learn from the incident and take necessary measures to prevent such incidents.”
BTW, some shopping trolleys have wheels that lock onto the ridges of travelators. Maybe such a mechanism would be also necessary for staff trolleys in the future.
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