Singapore — On June 24, Monday, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) came to the rescue of a little boy who got his foot stuck in one of the escalators at Jewel Changi Airport. At 3:20, the SCDF arrived at 78 Airport Boulevard to respond to a call for assistance.

The child, a little boy, remained unnamed, and his age was not released either.

Rescue tools were used by the SCDF in order to extricate the boy’s foot.

A witness to the incident told Channel NewsAsia (CNA) that the airport staff was told about the situation right away, which occurred in basement two of the building.

The witness also said that she could hear both the sound of drilling and the screams of the child while the SCDF got the boy’s foot unstuck.

A representative for Jewel Changi Airport Development said that after being extricated, the boy was first examined by on-site medical staff and then taken by an SCDF ambulance to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital for further assessment.

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She also said, “Investigations showed that the incident occurred when his foot was brushing along the sides of the escalator.”

Jewel Changi Airport issued a statement to everyone, especially parents of small children, to be careful when they’re on the escalator.

“We advise all shoppers to stay vigilant, especially with children when riding on escalators at all times.”

Last month, another child got his slipper caught in an escalator at Jewel Changi Airport. A five-year-old boy sustained a cut on his toe after the slipper he was wearing also got stuck in an escalator on May 11.

A doctor who was on-site at that time tended to the boy after the accident, which turned out to only be a minor cut.

A witness to the incident told Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao that the child did not cry while he was stuck in the escalator and he waited for help to come. The witness described the little boy as “very brave,” the Straits Times reports and that around 50 to 60 onlookers gathered around the youngster as he waited to be extricated.

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The SCDF was also called in on that day, responding to a request and arriving at Jewel shortly before 10:00 pm. But their help turned out to be unnecessary since the child was already being helped and had even received medical assistance.

The Building and Construction Authority said in December 2018 that over ninety percent of accidents on escalators are due to unsafe behavior. According to the authority, less than 10 percent is because of mechanical problems like malfunctioning handrails.

Over 700 incidents of escalator accidents were reported last year.

The authority has encouraged escalator operators to install posters and stickers about safety on escalators, especially for people who bring strollers or carry large items on escalators.

Strollers are a particular threat on escalators, since the wheels on the bottom may end up causing escalator steps to get misaligned, which in turn causes a sudden stop. These abrupt stops could result in people falling.

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It is better for people with strollers to use lifts instead.

Some other examples of unsafe actions on escalators are the use of cellphones while on them, not standing between the yellow lines, and not holding on to the handrail.

According to Engineer S. Yogeeswaran, who is a member of the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technical Committee of the Institution of Engineers Singapore, “A lot of the time, people don’t realise escalators are machines and when using them, they need to stick to necessary precautions.”

“If these (safety) signs are followed, it should help to greatly reduce escalator incidents,” said a fellow engineer on the committee, Lum Chong Chen. / TISG

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