In a graphic video captured Sunday morning, a mother pushed her toddler to safety before falling to her death in the mechanism of a still-running escalator. Two employees tried helping the struggling mother out to no avail.
The incident occurred at a shopping mall in Jingzhou, China, and the woman Xiang Liujuan was 30 years old.
Her body was found by rescue crews three hours after her death when they cut the escalator open and went into the internal machinery.
Several short videos of the horrific incident surfaced on YouTube. Viewer discretion is advised.
In response to this tragedy, many are calling for tighter regulations on construction in China, as they believe human error and carelessness contributed to the unsafe conditions that created the possibility of death.
Last fall, it was revealed that many escalators and elevators in China are actually counterfeits of name-brand mechanisms. Over 11 were arrested for selling counterfeits in a raid in November.
Oftentimes, these counterfeits malfunction and cause injuries or even death.
“Making [fake] elevators is very simple because the cabins all look the same from the outside,” Wu, a man involved with the production of counterfeits, said.
“Anyone with a little knowledge of the production process can make them, as long as they can get the parts,” he said.
This led some to speculation about the origins of the mall’s escalator, asking about the brand and make.
The shopping mall itself is avoiding answering media requests, so many of the specifics of this case are still developing.
“The shopping mall is still open and the killer escalators are still running,” Xiang’s sister-in-law said. “Shoppers have no idea about the tragedy upstairs and no one knows if such disasters will strike again.”