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Saturday, March 25, 2017, 22:50

18 injured in rare escalator accident

By Xinhua

HONG KONG - At least 18 people were injured Saturday afternoon when an escalator at a shopping mall in Mong Kok suddenly reversed direction and sped up.

Video footage shot by witnesses showed that an up-going escalator at Langham Place suddenly reversed and went downward at an obviously higher speed, leading dozens of passengers to lose balance and roll down to the ground.

Local radio RTHK quoted an injured passenger as saying that the escalator was going "twice as fast."

A man who suffered head injury was in serious condition

Several ambulances rushed to the scene and took the injured to nearby hospitals.

A man who suffered head injury was in serious condition, according to police.

RTHK quoted an expert in escalator maintenance of the Vocational Training Center as saying that this kind of accidents rarely happen in Hong Kong and may be attributed to the malfunction of the escalator's anti-reversal gear and auxiliary safety gear.

A spokeswoman of the shopping mall and a director of the mall's property management company said the escalator has been in service for years with a fine record of operation.

It passed a recent inspection on March 23, showing no signs of mechanical defects or falling short of safety standard.

The contractor for maintaining the escalator has been asked to investigate the cause of the accident.

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