BEIJING: A woman was killed after she plunged through flooring over an escalator in a Chinese department store, reports said on Monday, thrusting her toddler to safety as she fell to her death.
Xiang Liujuan, 30, was holding her son in front of her as they went up the stairway on Saturday, the Wuhan Evening News said.
Security camera footage of the incident posted online showed a panel in the floor giving way as Xiang stepped off the escalator. As she fell half-way through she pushed her son forward, and a nearby shop assistant dragged him to safety.
But the escalator continued rolling, and several seconds later Xiang is seen disappearing downwards into the mechanism, despite one of the staff briefly grabbing her hand.
It took firefighters more than four hours to cut open the machine and recover the woman, who showed “no signs of life”, the newspaper report said.
The footage shows employees standing at the top of the escalator as the mother and child approach.
Maintenance had just been carried out on the escalator at the Anliang department store in Jingzhou in the central province of Hubei, and workers forgot to screw the access cover back into place, the newspaper cited an unnamed source as saying.