Channel NewsAsia

Escalator step gives way at Forum The Shopping Mall

Part of an escalator leading up to a children's education centre at Forum The Shopping Mall gave way earlier on Sunday (August 3) but no one was hurt.

SINGAPORE: Part of an escalator leading to a children's education centre at Forum The Shopping Mall gave way on Sunday (August 3), although no one was hurt.

Security guards at the Orchard Road mall said staff at the Julia Gabriel Centre, a tenant on the 4th level, alerted them to the faulty escalator which has since been cordoned off. A check by Channel NewsAsia showed one of the escalator steps had ‘moved’, leaving a gap large enough for a person's foot to be trapped in.

The escalator has been closed to public, but they can still access the Julia Gabriel Centre via the adjacent escalator that has been turned off. Channel NewsAsia understands the incident happened around 1.30pm, when lessons ended for children at Julia Gabriel Centre.

Around six parents - with children varying ages, from about 10 months to 2.5 years old - were at the foot of the descending escalator when the incident occurred. Channel NewsAsia understands that the escalator emitted a series of drumming sounds that lasted a few seconds each before the step gave way.

“I think before the step gave way, the escalator was vibrating. It didn't give way immediately, but you can see that the step was giving way,” said Adrian Wong, a parent and eyewitness.

“There was quite a bit of rumbling. It's as though there was an earthquake on the escalator. The escalator started vibrating and the next minute, one of the steps just gave way and everybody else just scrambled down and started screaming."

It is also understood that in recent years, the escalators leading up and down the centre would experience malfunction once every few months. Each time that happened, the centre would inform the management, which would then arrange for the escalators to be fixed.

Julia Gabriel Centre, which caters to children between six months and 12 years old, said Sunday's incident is the first time involving a dislodged escalator step. It said it will be in talks with the mall's management to discuss the issue and to prevent a similar incident from happening. Escalator-maker KONE could not be reached for comment.