Police arrested two male escalator technicians in relation to the Langham Place escalator investigation, after they allegedly tampered with machinery subject to investigation.
The technicians from Otis Elevator Company (Hong Kong), aged 22 and 52, were arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice, after they allegedly restarted the system of a faulty escalator at the Mong Kok mall which left 18 people injured after malfunctioning. The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) had issued an order for the escalator to be left untouched until the cause for the accident was officially confirmed.
However, EMSD personnel found that the system had been restarted yesterday night, and were concerned that the escalator’s data record could have been tampered with, according to Apple Daily. Two technicians who arrived at the scene after the accident were arrested and taken into police custody for questioning.
A spokesperson for Otis expressed “shock” at the technicians’ arrests, and said the company would provide them with necessary assistance. The men have since been released on bail and are required to report back to police next month.
At around 4pm on Saturday, a 45-metre-long ascending escalator connecting levels 4 and 8 of Langham Place suddenly stopped and then reversed in high speed, causing a human pile-up after riders lost their balance. A total of 14 women and four men were injured, and one man was hospitalised with serious head injuries.
After the incident, the government ordered compulsory inspections on 57 escalators over 15 metres in height across the city within the next month. A spokesperson for Langham Place told Apple Daily that two pairs of long escalators, connecting levels 4 to 8 and levels 8 to 12, have now been suspended amid police investigations.