Crowds injured after Hong Kong escalator suddenly changes direction (VIDEOS)
At least 18 people were injured when the 40-meter escalator in the Langham Place mall in Hong Kong’s Mongkok district changed direction without warning.
The incident, which was caught on camera, happened on Saturday afternoon as visitors to the high-rise center were going about their shopping, according to the South China Morning Post.
One eyewitness, who was on the escalator at the time of the incident, told the news outlet that it went into reverse and was travelling “two times faster than normal.”
Footage of the accident reveals how, in one rapid maneuver, the escalator travelling towards a higher floor of the mall suddenly changes direction. The sharp interchange results in a crowd of unsuspecting shoppers being upended and flung towards a pile of people at the bottom of the staircase.
Another clip filmed from the bottom of the staircase reveals how some people desperately tried to get out of the way of falling men and women. One person can be seen running against the direction of the speeding stairs in an effort to escape harm.
The Grand Atrium of Langham Place includes two escalators, described as ‘Xpresscalators,’ which measure a total of 83 meters. The multimillion-dollar development also houses Mongkok’s only five star hotel.
A Langham Place spokesperson said that the particular piece of machinery involved in the mishap passed an inspection as recently as March 23.