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July 26, 2011

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Woman falls on escalator, hurts grandson

AN elderly woman fell down onto her four-year-old grandson while riding a Metro escalator yesterday, severely injuring his head, and the boy was saved when another passenger stopped the escalator and rescued him.

Metro operators said the accident occurred at 3:15pm when the woman stumbled on the up escalator at the entrance of the Shanghai Railway Station of Metro Line 1 and fell down on the boy behind her.

The boy, with his head bleeding continuously, was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Metro operators said the escalator was operating normally, contradicting rumors spread online that the boy and the old woman fell down because the escalator suddenly stopped.

"I heard a huge cracking sound and the next second I saw the boy crying under an old woman, and the escalator was not working," said a witness surnamed Mo, who runs a small shop at the entrance to the station.

A resident who claimed to have witnessed the scene uploaded pictures showing the boy bleeding and said on the microblog that it was the sudden stop of the escalator that caused the two to fall.

The rumor was forwarded more than 700 times in 45 minutes.

But the station's surveillance videotape shows that the woman took the boy onto the escalator and suddenly lost her balance when climbing upstairs and fell down onto the boy, with the escalator operating.

A passer-by quickly pressed the emergency button to stop the escalator, then pulled the boy out from under his grandmother, the tape shows.

"It all happened so fast that the scene may have given people an illusion that they fell due to the escalator's failure, but it was actually stopped after they fell," said the director of the station surnamed Song.


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