A Shanghai man has had his lower leg amputated after becoming trapped in a mall escalator, the third serious escalator-related accident in China in a week.
The 35-year-old man, surnamed Zhang, was a cleaner at the Cloud Nine shopping mall in Shanghai’s Zhongshan Park, state media said.
Video surveillance footage shows him cleaning with a mop on Sunday evening before one of the escalator’s metal floor panels give way, trapping his left lower leg.
Firefighters eventually rescued the man and he was sent to hospital where his leg was amputated from the calf down.
“The doctor said in order to prevent (the) situation from getting worse, they amputated his left calf,” a family member of the victim told Xinhua.
An investigation into the accident is still underway but the latest state media reports say the victim violated operation regulations by not shutting the escalator down first before cleaning it.
It is the third escalator incident in China this past week that has resulted in a serious injury or fatality.
Last Wednesday, a similar incident resulted in the death of a young mother. Thirty-year-old Xiang Liujuan fell through an escalator metal panel to her death in Jingzhou, a city located in central China, although she was able to push her two-year-old son to safety.
Two days before that in the southwestern province of Guangxi, a toddler’s left hand and arm were caught in a gap of an escalator after he tripped and fell at the bottom, firefighters told local media. He suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured arm, and was hospitalized.
Despite the recent spate of incidents — which has sparked numerous videos on social media of people tiptoeing on escalators or riding the handrails — government statistics show that there were just 49 escalator or elevator-related accidents last year.
As a result, 37 people died, a relatively low figure for a country with a population of 1.3 billion. Authorities say most of the deaths were caused by improper use and only eight were caused by equipment problems