Singapore—Blogger mum Priscilla, who writes for punggolbabies.com, shared the story of an escalator step at Waterway Point, Punggol, which dislodged in front of her and her baby as they were getting on it. Priscilla was especially horrified because a similar incident happened at the same place just two months before, which witnesses said sent people on the escalator “tumbling.”
Fear of what could have happened to her and her baby caused Priscilla to write all about the incident, which occurred last Friday, November 29.
“With an infant in my carrier, we heard loud clanking sounds before the steps popped up right before my eyes. I was just a step away from that dislodged step.”
It’s a good thing that she had the presence of mind to stay calm and simply held her child while asking the people behind her on the escalator to move upwards from where they all had come.
The earlier incident that she was referring to had occurred on September 28, after which Waterway Point requested via its Facebook page that shoppers refrain from using prams and trolleys on the building’s escalators, since the wheels of these devices get stuck at times between the steps of the escalators, causing them to malfunction. “The wheels on trolleys and prams may get wedged between the escalator steps and cause the steps to be unable to retract normally into the escalator pit.
The steps may then become dislodged and this further triggers the safety mechanism to stop the escalator from operating.”
The post also asked shoppers with trolleys and prams to take the building’s lifts.
AsiaOne reports that a witness to the incident on November 29 said they heard a lot noise from the escalators all of a sudden, and then saw a woman with a baby in her arms, “frozen on the steps,” and said that it was a good thing that someone already activated the emergency stop button.
The same report said that a shopkeeper in the building said that the escalators have been known to jerk randomly, in spite of maintenance work done on it.
“In this particular case, our investigation showed that the wheels on a pram that was used on the escalator got caught and wedged between the escalator steps. This caused the steps to be unable to retract normally into the escalator pit. The steps thus dislodged and this triggered the safety mechanism to stop the escalator from operating,” said a spokesperson from Waterway Point to AsiaOne.
Fortunately, nobody was injured in the incident. The elevator is still under repair, according to a Shin Min Daily News article published on December 1.
At the end of her blog entry, she wrote, “To prevent further incidents as such, perhaps the malls can start putting up barriers to stop users from pushing the strollers on the escalators.”
And when a commenter pointed out that such signages exist, the mommy blogger responded by saying that the management of malls can go a step further by “placing barriers (metal poles) before the escalators to stop people from pushing the prams onto the escalators after the first incident. Prevention is always better than cure.”