We have just been alerted to a shocking escalator accident in Singapore which happened yesterday (14 Dec), at Ngee Ann City, Singapore. This mum’s Facebook post got us really worried about what could go wrong in our everyday lives.
Trip to the mall goes horribly wrong
Apparently, mummy Joanne Teng was going up the escalator in Takashimaya (near the DBS and UOB ATM machines) with her baby; her mum and helper were behind them.
Halfway through, Joanne’s mum started panicking and shouting that there was something wrong with the escalator and that it was moving backwards!
In reality, both Joanne’s mum and her helper were holding on to the escalator handrail, and it was the handrail which was moving in the opposite direction! The confusion caused Joanne’s mum to lose balance and fall behind thereby toppling the helper, who was flung backwards.
The fall turned disastrous for the helper, who suffered a seizure for around 30 seconds, following which she lost consciousness. When she did wake up a few minutes later, she was blank and unresponsive.
The hospital CT scan revealed that the helper had fractured her bones in the neck area; her condition remains unstable. Joanne further writes that she is clueless on whether surgery is required and how much the treatment is going to cost.
Update: Joanne tells us, “My helper can be discharged tomorrow, but requires 2 rounds of physiotherapy and needs to exercise for 20 minutes at home every day. She should be allowed to do light duty only for 6 weeks, and should be forbidden from carrying heavy things. Suddenly, I have no one to help look after my 3 kids and do housework, so I’m feeling stressed and a bit lost.”
Escalator Accident in Singapore: Mall refuses to accept responsibility
It is hard to believe that this safety hazard occurred at a mall like Ngee Ann City, which sees thousands of people every day, from the very young to the elderly.
So, it is really unfortunate that Ngee Ann City has so far refused to own up to their mistake and take responsibility for the accident; apparently, they have been unwilling to offer any sort of compensation to the victim.
Joanne ends her post with a word of caution, “Do really take note and best to avoid this escalator for your safety.”
This incident clearly highlights lax safety standards in malls. The big question now is, “Are we taking safety for granted in Singapore?”
We did a quick check and found out that at least four other escalator accidents have taken place in Singapore, this year alone!
It is sad that most of the victims are young kids and the elderly. In Singapore today, grandparents commonly take their kids around in the event of both parents working. It is hence essential to educate our loved ones and practice vigilance when it comes to using machines like the escalator.
READ: Man dies in escalator accident in Singapore
Escalator safety tips
Here are some safety tips to follow, while on an escalator:
- Hold your children’s hands when stepping on and stepping off the escalator, and throughout the duration of the journey.
- Ensure shoelaces are tied up before stepping onto the escalator. Be very careful with loose or long clothing.
- The elderly should take the lift. As one gets older, health problems like vertigo can be common. It is best to advise your elderly parents to use the lift, especially when they are with young kids.
- Avoid plastic shoes with holes. Remember the terrible Crocs accident? These kind of shoes can get trapped easily in the combs of the escalator.
- Avoid standing too close to the sides.
- Carry toddlers, especially if their coordination has not yet fully developed. Or lift them up when stepping on and off the escalator.
- Always keep an eye on your children. Let them know that the escalator is not a place to play on. Some kids find it thrilling to slide on to the hand rails. This is extremely dangerous.
- Keep to the left. This is especially applicable at peak hours, in crowded areas. The right side is for those who don’t have the time to let the escalator take its course.
- Always use a lift when your child is in a stroller. We often see parents with strollers using the escalator. It is interesting to see them balance the stroller delicately on to the steps. But please be wary that one wrong move might cause grave harm to the baby. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Also, if you have tons of grocery bags and a child in tow, don’t test your balancing skills and luck. Use the lift even it means a longer waiting time.
- Hold on to the handrail. This last safety tip seems a bit ironic, because this unfortunate accident actually occurred due to faulty handrail. In normal circumstances though, every safety board advises you to hold on to the handrail.
Also READ: Boy’s foot gets stuck in escalator accident in Singapore