Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Boy killed in Beijing subway accident

One boy has died and up to 30 others were injured Tuesday after a malfunction caused an escalator at a Beijing subway station to suddenly change direction.

The incident occurred at around 09:36 Beijing time [Tuesday 5th July] at the stop for Beijing Zoo [动物园站].  Dozens of passengers were on the ascending escalator when it suddenly reversed direction. Witnesses later described hearing a strange grinding noise from the shifting gears before people were thrown towards the bottom of the escalator.

In the crush of bodies a 13-year-old boy was killed and some twenty eight others were hospitalised, amongst them the dead boy's father and sister. Two of those receiving treatment were described as being in a serious condition.

Pictures posted online showed injured passengers lying on the floor amongst pools of blood, while other passengers pass by some taking pictures on cell phones. In one photograph a uniformed officer is seen standing at the foot of the escalator some minutes are the incident occurred aside another man who is taking pictures. Neither appear to be aiding the victims.

The freak accident occurred on one of the capital's newest lines, prompting concerns that China's rapid expansion of public transport networks may have led to declining safety standards. However authorities have been quick to blame the manufacturer of the escalator [Sina / Sohu / Yicai / Sohu / NYDN / Guardian / Telegraph / Xinhua].

tvnewswatch, Beijing, China

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