A 30-year-old woman died as a result of an accident on an escalator in a Chinese shopping mall on Sunday.
Video of the incident shows the woman, identified at Xiang Liujuan, traveling up the escalator with her son in a mall in Jingzhou, China. When she steps out onto the metal plate at the top of the escalator, it gives way, and she manages to thrust her son to safety before becoming pulled down into the machinery. An employee seems to try to pull Xiang to safety, but within moments Xiang vanishes into the machinery below.
(The video can be viewed here. Readers should be warned that it is very disturbing.)
Agence France-Presse reports that firefighters worked for more than four hours to retrieve Xiang’s body, which “showed no signs of life.”
According to the L.A. Times, news of the incident spread rapidly throughout China, where poor construction and safety standards are still problematic even as the nation enters an age of increased modernity.
The AFP report notes that the incident has been widely discussed on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like website popular in China. Many users have expressed outrage the accident was allowed to happen at all and confusion about whether the employees standing nearby knew how unsafe the platform was, while still others have expressed admiration that Xiang was able to save her child in her final moments.