Mother dies after saving toddler son

Updated: 2015-07-28 15:16

By Agencies in Beijing And Wuhan(China Daily USA)

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A woman was killed on Saturday after she plunged through flooring placed over an escalator at a department store in Jingzhou, Hubei province, media reports said on Monday.

The mother pushed her toddler to safety as she fell to her death on Saturday, the reports said.

Xiang Liujuan, 30, was holding her son in front of her as they went up the stairway before the accident happened, Wuhan Evening News reported.

Security camera footage of the accident posted online showed a panel in the flooring giving way as Xiang stepped off the escalator. As she fell halfway through, she pushed her son forward and a shop assistant dragged him to safety.

But the escalator continued rolling, and several seconds later Xiang was seen disappearing down into the mechanism, despite one of the staff members briefly grabbing her hand.

It took firefighters more than four hours to cut open the escalator and locate the woman, who showed no signs of life, the report said.

The newspaper cited an unnamed source as saying that maintenance work had just been carried out on the escalator in the Anliang department store, and workers forgot to screw the access cover back into place.

The accident was one of the main topics on Sina Weibo on Monday, with more than 6.6 million views.

Most comments expressed anger with the store's management.

"Why didn't staff members stop customers at the entrance to the escalator, or just turn it off?" one said.

Others were moved by the woman's final actions.

"I felt the greatness of maternal love - she wasted no time pushing her child to safety when it happened," another citizen said.

Several similar incidents involving escalator safety - some of them fatal - have been reported in recent years.

In the latest case on Monday, the left hand of a 1-year-old child was crushed by an escalator at a shopping mall in Wuzhou, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

The child has been hospitalized.

In 2012, a 9-year-old boy was killed after he became stuck in an escalator at a Beijing department store as horrified shoppers looked on.

AFP - China Daily

 Mother dies after saving toddler son

Surveillance camera images show that Xiang Liujuan, 30, pushed her toddler to safety as she fell to her death on an escalator at a department store in Jingzhou, Hubei province, on Saturday. Provided to China Daily

(China Daily USA 07/28/2015 page4)