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July 7, 2011

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Metro starts escalator checks

THE city's subway operator said yesterday that it started conducting checks at all escalators in its stations and had added new brake systems to some older escalators.

The checks were in response to the escalator accident in a Beijing subway station on Tuesday that killed a 13-year-old boy.

There are 1,725 escalators in the city's Metro stations. Among them, 691 were made by OTIS, the maker of the escalator that malfunctioned in Beijing.

In Shanghai, the OTIS escalators are used on Metro lines 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7.

The Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, the city's subway operator, said it will ask escalator makers and maintenance workers to "closely inspect the escalators along the 11 subways lines and stations" to ensure safety.

Several escalators have malfunctioned in the city's subway stations in recent years although no serious injuries or deaths were reported.

In 2009, four people sustained broken bones after falling off an escalator at Jiangsu Road Station on Metro Line 2.

In 2008, 11 people were injured when an escalator suddenly reversed direction at Zhangjiang High-Tech Park Station on the same line.

Metro officials said four older escalators are not equipped with an anti-skid system. New equipment is expected to be installed on the four escalators by July 11, the operator said. Most escalators already have the anti-skid system.

The system functions during emergencies, such as when an escalator reverses direction.

Shanghai Shentong said it strictly complies with equipment inspection regulations and that escalators should be subjected to maintenance every 15 days and get operation licenses from local quality and technical authorities once a year.

However, at some stations maintenance and check work are behind schedule.

One escalator at the Shanghai Indoor Stadium Station on Line 4 was last checked for safety in June 2010.

Meanwhile, Shanghai Shentong also reminded people to be careful on escalators and always hold the handrail.

Also, the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision said it will carry out escalator quality tests across the city this summer.

The bureau said it will focus on outdoor escalators and those in subway stations and busy shopping malls.


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