OTIS-produced escalator malfuncation leaves 13-year-old boy dead, 30 injured in Beijing subway

14:39, July 06, 2011      

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A wounded woman receives medical treatment at the Peking University People's Hospital after an accident happened in the Beijing Zoo Station of Subway Line 4 in downtown Beijing, capital of China, July 5, 2011. At least one person was killed and 28 others injured, including two seriously, by escalator hitch in the station on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Cheng Li)

The escalator at a Beijing subway stop which left a 13-year-old boy dead and 30 others injured due to malfunction was produced by the world's largest escalator producer OTIS, subway officials said.

The escalator was still in the guarantee period, and the manufacturer just completed a routine check on June 22, said Yang Ling, a spokeswoman with the Beijing MTR Corporation, which operates the subway line.

Ten escalators along the subway line were suspended after the accident, and double checks were under way, Yang added.

The incident happened at 9:36 a.m. at the A exit of the Zoo Station on Line 4 subway, which opened to traffic two years ago, leaving one dead and 13 injured.

The injuries of the 13 were not life threatening, said Yang.

Witnesses said the rising escalator suddenly changed its direction and caused more than 20 passengers to fall.

On photos posted by witnesses on microblogs on weibo.com, several people are seen lying on the ground at the bottom of the escalator and being helped by others. Blood can be seen on the floor.

"People pressed into a pile, and the boy and his father were buried under others," said an injured witness, who was another father going to with his child to the zoo. His child was not hurt.

The dead boy's father is in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Peking University People's Hospital, doctors said.

The boy's sister suffered a head injury and has been transferred to Beijing Children's Hospital, doctors said.

Four others are receiving medical treatment in the ICU at Peking University People's Hospital.

As of noon, the A exit and D exit remained closed and only exit C was open.

The company posted a brief statement about the accident on its website,mtr.bj.cn, which provided the same explanation as the government's press release.

The company said it has already launched an emergency response and all injured people have been sent to hospitals.

It expressed sorrow to the family of the dead boy and apologized to the injured people, and it will guarantee effective medical treatment to the injured.

The government has demanded a probe into the accident while asking all subway operators to immediately launch checks of facilities to ensure their safety.

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Source: Xinhua
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