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July 11, 2011

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All city elevators to be inspected

FOLLOWING a series of malfunctions, all city elevators are to be inspected this summer, quality authorities said yesterday.

The Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision said summer is the peak season for mechanical failure, due to overheating.

Officials said those tested first will be older elevators where the warranty has almost expired.

The latest case occurred on Saturday when a woman almost suffered heatstroke after being trapped in an elevator in a residential building in Songjiang District for an hour.

The victim, surnamed Wang, said the elevator suddenly stopped while descending. The lights went out and it soon became stiflingly hot. She pressed the emergency button but no one came to her rescue, Wang said.

After 30 minutes, a security guard in the building noticed that the elevator was not moving and raised the alarm.

The property management company for the Lijingyuan residential area said the incident was caused by overheating in the elevator control room.

Officials said the room wasn't fitted with air-conditioning and the computer broke down in the heat.

Last week, an elevator dropped suddenly from the fourth floor to the first floor in Changning District. No one was injured in the incident.

Shanghai Daily has discovered that some elevators in busy shopping centers have poor emergency facilities.

Inside a lift at the Parkson shopping center on Huaihai Road M., the emergency phone is old and faulty, failing to stay connected.

One passenger said these emergency facilities are mostly "for decoration."

"I don't think it works," a female passenger told Shanghai Daily.

Apart from a yellow bell button and a red emergency button which is said to have talkback functions, there was no emergency number or emergency instructions inside the elevator.

An officer from the engineering department of the shopping mall said they will repair the emergency phone.

And at Jiuguang department store in Jing'an District, emergency numbers in elevators were difficult to read.

Last week, the city launched an inspection of a type of escalator involved in an accident in Beijing in which a boy was killed. Some 22 OTIS escalators were shut down for tests.


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