When Guns Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Escalators

escalatorIn Debenhams department store in Oxford Street, London, there is a large, airy atrium with an escalator bank along one side. Anyone who has set foot there will recall it. But in the last year, not one but two people have taken the Dive of Death from the [British, where “ground” is American “first”] fourth-floor escalator to a bone-crushing deceleration below. In November, 2014, a man died; the young woman who fell in September isn’t dead. Yet.

A young woman is seriously injured after falling from a fourth-floor escalator at Debenhams
The woman, who suffered serious injuries, was rushed to hospital after falling at the store’s flagship branch in Oxford Street on Sunday afternoon [27 Sep 15].

It is believed a large sign advertising a sale on the basement broke her fall. Police are treating the incident as non-suspicious.

The incident comes after a man plunged to his death from an escalator in the same Debenhams store last November.

Escalator and elevator accidents are rare enough to make the news, but common enough to keep recurring. The fact is, people die in bathtub falls, and anything as high as your stepladder can absolutely, positively kill you.

via Woman falls from fourth-floor escalator at Debenhams | UK | News | Daily Express.

escalator2While English escalator accidents seem to be an annual occurrence, the same newspaper reports (in a different story, complete with video of an escalator death) that they’re commonplace in China:

Horrific escalator incidents have been far from rare in recent years.

A 13-year-old boy was killed and more than 20 injured in a Beijing subway station when an escalator suddenly went in reverse during rush hour in 2011.

A nine-year-old boy was killed when he became trapped in a department store escalator in the city in front of horrified shoppers the following year.

Last year, about 12 people were injured in Shanghai when an escalator in a subway station started moving backwards.

Anything can kill a human, including the most mundane and routine things, like taking an escalator. That said, we’ll wager the Debenhams mishapsĀ involved young people using the escalators in a manner unintended by the manufacturer. (The Chinese mishap seen in video is pure machine failure, probably caused by human error in installation or maintenance).

6 thoughts on “When Guns Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Escalators

    1. "Greg"

      And that’s why I avoid riding in elevators (if I have the choice) but I am perfectly fine riding escalators!

  1. obsidian

    I watched a video where a guy carried a long 2″ x 4″ board on an escalator, The board he held straight up and as the escalator went up the ceiling came down the board hit the ceiling, pressed into the steps he was standing on and that collapsed fell in and was eaten alive by that machine you could see his body under the steps being run thorough the device board and all.
    Darwin, stupidity or whatever that was the most horrible thing I ever saw on video.
    I hate those things and take the steps every time.
    Don’t get me started on elevators!

  2. Jennifer

    Last I heard in the press over here (I’m a Brit), the escalator ‘accidents’ here are often suicides/suicide attempts. For years, there is an informal policy in our press of avoiding publishing the method of suicide, as research conclusively shows it sparks copy cats, when the copy cats may indeed have been depressed, but not about to act on it until they are inspired by such stories. The press needs to stop reporting this method too. It is no coincidence the second jump occurred at the same place as the first.

    1. Hognose Post author

      That’s an interesting thought, Jennifer. Certainly the wall-to-wall reporting on shootings here seems to inspire new shooters. The most recent jerk mentioned the one before him, and appears to have expressed open admiration for the guy at becoming a celebrity, however posthumously.

      Human beings are frail and easily killed, by themselves or by others. We have millions of years of evolution staying our hands against ourselves and each other.

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