Faulty escalator in Penang sparks fear

A loud crash, followed by screams. Another escalator incident. But it's not in China. It took place at a hypermarket in Penang.

Photographs of a broken travelator at the mall were shared online by a sales executive who wanted to be known only as Eileen.

The post went viral recently, reported The Star.

Eileen said she was on the other side when a piece of the machine's metal tread fell inside the moving travelator, leaving a huge gap.

There was no one on it at the time.

"I just screamed... If I had been on that side, my leg would have gone inside the machine. I could have been seriously hurt.

"Now every time I get on a machine, I'm scared, especially after the recent accidents in China," she said.

She also wondered if it was due to poor maintenance.

The recent incidents, especially the one in which a mother died after falling through a gap that suddenly opened at the top of an escalator in China, have shocked Malaysian Lift and Escalator Association president Franky Ho.

The association's members have received many anxious queries from Malaysians who had seen the video.

He said: "Even my child is scared. We're looking at ways to educate the public on escalator safety because the machines are not the problem."

Mr Ho noted that there are 18 safety features in every escalator, excluding the optional ones and added: "Human error is the culprit."

He called for malls to make frequent public announcements on the dos and don'ts of using an escalator.