I’ve always had this fear of escalators because of the numerous horror stories that I’ve heard regarding them.
The fear was so bad that I even had nightmares about them.
And I’m serious because you’ll never know when you will get flung off the escalator or go tumbling down them when it malfunctions. What then? How do you even escape?
Unfortunately, there was an incident on 29 November which just further intensifies my fear.
A mother by the name of Priscilla was happily shopping at Punggol’s Waterway Point with her baby girl strapped to her in a carrier.
They were heading down the escalator when all of a sudden, they hear loud cranking noises.
A lady pushing her toddler in a pram had just stepped off the escalator when the step just dislodges, right in front Priscilla and her baby.
She was so scared of what had happened that she hugged her baby with quivering arms and told the crowd to go back up. Together with all of them, they climbed up the escalator and thankfully got away without anyone getting hurt.
A witness to the incident, a shopkeeper, shared what she heard and saw during the incident. She mentioned that she was in her shop when there were suddenly loud sounds coming from the escalator, and when she looked over, all she saw was a mother carrying her baby, frozen on the steps.
Thankfully, when this incident happened, someone immediately pressed the emergency stop button, allowing everyone to safely climb back up the steps.
According to AsiaOne, another shopkeeper told reporters that the escalator would malfunction frequently where it would suddenly jerk while moving. Weirdly, these all happened despite frequent maintenance checks.
Cause Of The Dislodge
According to a spokesperson from Waterway Point, it was said that the dislodge was because of the wheels of a pram.
It seems that the wheels may have gotten caught and wedged between the escalator steps. “This caused the steps to be unable to retract normally into the escalator pit. The steps thus dislodged and this triggered the safety mechanism to stop the escalator from operating,” the spokesperson said.
With that, Priscilla also found a Facebook post by Waterway that was posted back on 29 September explaining that the cause escalators dislodging was due to the wheels of a stroller.
More Needs To Be Done
This was reportedly not the first time that the escalator in the same mall dislodged. The September incident then sent people tumbling down. Thankfully, there were also no injuries back then.
But can you imagine how traumatic that would be? Plus, there were also instances where people did get hurt when escalators malfunctioned.
Priscilla wrote in her blog that she believes that more should be done to ensure the safety of these escalators, especially considering the fact that this isn’t the first time that this has happened.
She also read up and found that the most common reason for escalators malfunctioning is because of prams. She believes that many parents choose to push their kids’ strollers onto escalators to get to other floors because the lifts may have been very crowded.
Despite this, she urges parents not to do this for the safety of others and to wait for the lift instead. She also suggested that the management of the malls can put up barriers to prevent parents from using strollers on escalators.
Well hopefully, a more thorough check is done on the escalators in Waterway Point. We also hope that malls can consider taking up Priscilla’s suggestion so as to ensure the safety of everyone who uses the escalators.