10% of Escalators on Beijing Subway Line Fail Safety Checks

A dozen escalators—more than 10% of the total—have been recalled from stations along Beijing’s Yizhuang subway line, which opened in late December. Inspections were prompted by the death of a 13-year-old and injuries to 30 others in an accident last month.

China’s top quality watchdog demanded local agencies overhaul the quality of escalators and elevators after a 13-year-old boy was killed when an ascending subway escalator suddenly reversed direction at the Beijing Zoo Station on subway line 4.

According to the Beijing bureau of quality and technical supervision, the escalator had a design defect and was not well maintained during regular checks ….

Latest official figures from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine show more than 5 percent of elevators and escalators in use pose safety risks.

Experts said vicious market competition has led to inadequate training and a brain drain of maintenance workers ….

“They are only fixed when they stop working, which leaves huge hidden dangers,” Xu said.

The safety checks in Beijing are part of a nationwide campaign which has left 4,000 escalator and elevators out of operation. From an earlier China Daily report:

By the end of July, more than 10,000 escalators and elevators had been identified by local quality authorities as having potential safety problems, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).

“After repairs and maintenance, more than 4,000 escalators or elevators remain suspended for use,” said the AQSIQ.

August 2, 2011 11:31 PM
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