News On Japan

Woman Dies After Being Trapped in Escalator

TOKYO, Jun 12 (News On Japan) - A woman died after being trapped by her neck in an escalator at a Tokyo supermarket on Wednesday morning, highlighting the need for improved safety measures in the wake of similar incidents.

The incident occurred at the OK Higashifushimi store in Nishitokyo. The accident happened on an escalator leading to the basement floor.

Footage and photos taken immediately after the incident show emergency responders at the scene. An eyewitness who took the footage described the scene.

Eyewitness: 'More than 10 paramedics were performing emergency procedures. It was terrifying. Later, I found out the woman was in her 80s, which made me think of my mother and feel very sorry for her.'

The accident occurred at around 10:30 a.m. on June 12th. The 119 emergency call reported that the woman had been 'trapped by her neck' in the escalator.

User: '(Q. Where does the escalator lead to?) It leads to the lower store. They said, 'The escalator is not usable now.''

The woman, in her 80s, was using a pushcart. She was found lying on her back near the bottom of the escalator, with her neck caught in the left side of the handrail intake.

She was taken to the hospital in cardiopulmonary arrest but was later confirmed dead.

In March this year, a similar incident occurred at JR Mito Station, making this the second escalator accident this year. We spoke to a maintenance specialist to understand more.

Sano Eiji, Kyoto Elevator Maintenance Specialist: 'I didn't expect such incidents to happen consecutively. I wonder if we will see more of these.'

The incident raises questions about escalator safety mechanisms, such as the safety devices designed to activate when foreign objects are caught.

The supermarket where the accident occurred opened in March this year. A user described the speed of the escalator.

User: 'It's very slow, almost annoyingly so. They have implemented safety measures.'

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, the woman is believed to have fallen for some reason just before the accident.

The safety device should stop the escalator when foreign objects are caught. Could there be a scenario where it doesn't activate?

Sano Eiji, Kyoto Elevator Maintenance Specialist: 'The switch will activate for large objects, but there is a possibility that thin items, clothing, or scarves could slip into the gaps.'

Source: ANN

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