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Otis accepts subway escalator report, will repair by January

By Zhang Hui    (Xinhua)

13:24, November 28, 2011

The 117 Otis escalators installed across Beijing's subway network, which have been suspended since the fatal accident at Beijing Zoo Station in July, are expected to reopen by Spring Festival. 

Otis Elevator (China) Investment Company Ltd. announced Saturday on its website that the company had no objection to the results of the accident investigation released by Beijing government Friday.

They promised to rectify the design and technical defects, in a bid to regain the trust of the government, clients and passengers.

The fine of 500,000 yuan ($78,450), will be paid by the Tianjin headquarters of Otis Elevator (China) Investment company, Guangzhou Otis company, the escalator manufacturer, and the maintenance company, Beijing Otis Company. All will share liability.

The workers in charge of escalator maintenance will have their work permits revoked, and the two suspects will face criminal charges, according to the statement released on Friday by Beijing Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision.

Victims of the accident will also receive compensation, with amounts yet to be determined.

The sudden reverse of an ascending Otis escalator at the station of Subway Line 4 killed a 13-year-old boy and injured 30 on July 5. The accident triggered nationwide safety checks for public escalators.

"Our company's repair and refurbishment plan has just received government approval, and we'll renovate the escalators soon," said Liu Tao, a public relations officer for Guangzhou Otis yesterday.

Otis admitted the escalator design did not take into consideration the maximum loads escalators in Beijing's subways would need to withstand. They will replace all the malfunctioning bolts and also install safety protection devices. The company will also increase the frequency of maintenance inspections, and will reopen by Spring Festival, which falls on January 23, said Liu.



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