On Saturday evening, the last few steps of a moving escalator in Tampines 1 abruptly caved in and collapsed. According to Shin Min Daily News, the incident took place at around 9:40pm at an escalator going from the third to the second level of the mall, and four people had just gotten on when disaster struck. However, the four who had just stepped on apparently reacted in time to hit the emergency stop button and prevent further damage from happening.
From CCTV footage, it seems an unfolded stroller was spotted on the affected escalator when the incident occurred. Maggie Chua, General Manager of Tampines 1 told Coconuts Singapore that “wheels on stroller[s] may jam escalator steps, causing dislodgement and triggering the escalator to a safety stop.”
The Straits Times said no one sustained any injuries, and Chua confirmed that, explaining that the area was immediately closed for a “safety assessment.” No word was mentioned by the mall about anyone pressing the emergency stop button.
The Chinese-language newspaper showed the damage done to the lower steps of the escalator in a photo taken by a reader. One of the tenants also told the publication that they heard loud noises from the moving stairway before the steps gave way.
The Building and Construction Authority was “promptly notified” and the mall has been working closely with all involved parties, including escalator vendor OTIS, to investigate the “isolated incident.”
In response to the incident, netizens were shocked and anxious about maintenance issues, especially with Tampines being a busy neighborhood and its malls having a tendency to get crowded often.
Meanwhile, one bloke advocated for the removal of escalators altogether.. to encourage more walking.
[Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect information from Tampines 1.]