A graphic video is making its rounds on the Internet this week, and the horrific footage shows the moment when a mom was killed by an escalator as she pushed her son to safety. According to a report from the New York Daily News, the incident happened on Sunday in the central city of Jingzhou, China, and it was caught on surveillance camera footage.
The mom who tragically lost her life in this freak accident was identified as 30-year-old Xiang Liujuan. In the video, which can be seen in its edited form below, a woman is shown ascending to the top of the escalator with her child close by her side.
Suddenly, the escalator malfunctions as the woman reached the landing platform, and the panel collapses, resulting in the woman being trapped in the mechanism of the still-running escalator. Although the woman was essentially “swallowed” by the escalator, she had time to save her two-year-old son.
Seconds before the fatal fall, the woman managed to save her son by throwing him forward, where he was rescued by bystanders who tried in vain to help the mother. According to local Chinese media reports, the mall escalators had been repaired recently, but apparently, the metal panel where the mom was killed had not properly been sealed.
Rescuers took four hours to free the woman from the escalator. However, she was already dead by the time they reached her. The woman’s body was said to be so badly damaged that she was virtually unrecognizable.
The accident became one of the most talked about topics in the social network Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. Some social media users have expressed their shock, and others have openly criticized the management of the mall, saying that the workers were slow to react to the incident and did not think to press the button that stops the machine in case of emergency.
The woman’s family also expressed frustration with how the mall handled the situation, and they are demanding authorities to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation.
“An ordinary Sunday shopping trip ended up in such a sudden tragedy, almost ruining an entire family,” said the victim’s sister-in-law.”The shopping mall is still open and the killer escalators are still running. Shoppers have no idea about the tragedy upstairs and no one knows if such disasters will strike again.”
Police in Jingzhou told CNN on Monday that the case was still under investigation.
[Image via YouTube screenshot]