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Elderly woman dies after her neck gets caught under Tokyo store's escalator rail

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34 Comments
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This is just so tragic. What an awful thing to happen.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

At the station once a kid was dragging her school bag a bit carelessly and it got wedged in that little area under the base of the handrail. She didn't have the strength to pull it free so the man in front of me, behind her, yanked it out for her.

Can easily see an elderly person getting wedged there without the strength or agility to wriggle free

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Awful way to die.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

A woman in her 80s died Wednesday after her neck became trapped under the handrail at the bottom of an escalator at a supermarket in Tokyo, police said, in the latest accident of its kind in recent months.

The accident follows a March incident in JR Mito Station, northeast of Tokyo, in which a man in his 70s died from suffocation after his suit jacket became ensnared in an escalator handrail.

Both of accidents involved old people, and they try to investigate the escalator?

The escalator was newly installed for the store's opening in March, and no issues were found with the installment or with how it was checked, it said.

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

Should have taken the elevator if you have a walker

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Horrific, but perhaps some signs would help, advising customers to take the lift if they are not so mobile.

Emergency stop/hold-to-reverse buttons might also be a plan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Tragic and so easily prevented. More elevators, please, and clear signage (though it should not be needed, actually) for all with mobility issues to please USE THE ELEVATOR.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Should have taken the elevator if you have a walker

Victim blaming? How disgusting.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

What a way to go. I can't imagine the thoughts going through her head as the poor elderly womans life is flashing before her eyes. See you on the other side..

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan is badly set up for its increasing elderly population.

Uneven streets, lack of pavements, steep slopes, lack of elevators etc.

More accidents to come…

0 ( +9 / -9 )

I sure wish there was a photo of the escalator. I cannot picture how this could happen based on the escalators I know.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

RIP.

I've been shopping with my mother in the UK and we couldn't use some escalators. They were too fast for her to safely get on and off. She's had a couple of falls and walks with a stick.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Having staff placed at the top and bottom of the escalator to help with customers may be an idea. Especially with the aging population. It seems like a win win situation. People get jobs/ people get help.

S

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Stupid comment of the day, it shouldn't be possible no matter what age the person is. Safety is safety

Both of accidents involved old people, and they try to investigate the escalator?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Grisliest headline of the year.

Funny, I've seen a number of escalators with signs warning about the dangers of wearing Crocs on them but none about walkers. Perhaps they care more about divorced, salarymen with pachinko problems than the elderly.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Desert TortoiseToday  09:48 am JST

I sure wish there was a photo of the escalator. I cannot picture how this could happen based on the escalators I know.

Imagine at the end of an escalator ride, where the rubber handrail starts to curve down in a semi-circular fashion to make the reverse trek up the escalator

Right at the bottom of the semi-circular part is a little space between that and the floor. That's where this poor granny got her head and neck caught.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They need to make it mandatory to have stop/reverse buttons at the top and bottom, I can't remember if I saw that at a mall in the states or a newer mall in South Korea?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Both of accidents involved old people, and they try to investigate the escalator?

What do you think is more productive? checking if something can be done to stop people from becoming old or checking if there is something that can be done to make the escalator safer?

I sure wish there was a photo of the escalator. I cannot picture how this could happen based on the escalators I know.

News last night had video and computer generated reenactment but it is still very difficult to see how this could have happened. As described it was a freak accident that would be very difficult to predict.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

If you have a large aging population, you're bound to have more of these types of accidents. Sone elderly are physically the equivalent of toddlers. Toddlers need to be supervised and some elderly also need supervision. Their cognitive abilities can diminish as well. I guess if the majority are elderly then you may need to accommodate them by adding extra safety measures since few people have the time or skills to supervise them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is an opportunity to hire helpers and station them at both the top and the bottom of escalators to assist elderly folks, small children, pregnant women, etc.

Sort of like those elevator boys/girls who hold the door for you.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

More safety has a cost.

With more elderly population, social costs are skyrocketing.

Japan has never been a land for the elderly, where pavements and physical access is often restricted.

A train station in naka ward Yokohama (Kannai JR line) with tens of thousands of commuters each day had not elevator a few years ago. I am about sure it is still the case.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have difficulty visualizing how this happened. Either way, requiring stop buttons for escalators sounds like a good idea.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Stop buttons might be a good idea. However for the people riding the escalator when the button is activated, their momentum would carry them forward causing potentially more injuries or worse. Especially for those going down.

S

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For those asking about stop buttons, there actually are emergency buttons on, I suppose, every escalator.

Positioning varies though, some are located on the front, side or even below, exactly where the woman on the news had her neck stuck.

Advertising more about this button and maybe using something to cover the gap where the incident took place would be feasible solutions, I think.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

vallum

For those asking about stop buttons, there actually are emergency buttons on, I suppose, every escalator.

Interesting! Never seem them, will look out for them. In that case, should they be required to be easily visible?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Spidey

Today 10:33 am JST

Having staff placed at the top and bottom of the escalator to help with customers may be an idea. Especially with the aging population. It seems like a win win situation. People get jobs/ people get help.

> S

That is an idea alright.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For those not visualizing how this accident occurred: https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/333130

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tragic and so easily prevented. More elevators, please, and clear signage (though it should not be needed, actually) for all with mobility issues to please USE THE ELEVATOR.

I’ve been in half a dozen OKs and they’ve all had elevators.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@sakurasuki Accidents don't pick numbers when they occur. Accidents are an "UNPLANNED EVENT" that can happen to anyone regardless of age!

A woman in her 80s died Wednesday after her neck became trapped under the handrail at the bottom of an escalator at a supermarket in Tokyo, police said, in the latest accident of its kind in recent months.

The accident follows a March incident in JR Mito Station, northeast of Tokyo, in which a man in his 70s died from suffocation after his suit jacket became ensnared in an escalator handrail.

Both of accidents involved old people, and they try to investigate the escalator?

The escalator was newly installed for the store's opening in March, and no issues were found with the installment or with how it was checked, it said.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Re elevators: some etiquette would be nice to clear the way for the elderly. You g people don’t seem to know that elevators are NOT for them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

hooktrunk2June 13  06:54 pm JST

For those not visualizing how this accident occurred: https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/333130

That re-enactment is wild. It looks like she fell first. Wow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They need to make it mandatory to have stop/reverse buttons at the top and bottom, I can't remember if I saw that at a mall in the states or a newer mall in South Korea?

Sounds like a good idea until you consider that kids will mess with them. I guarantee it. As a former child myself (we all were) you know some mischievous kid is going to push the stop button and laugh at the resulting confusion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Desert Tortoise

Sounds like a good idea until you consider that kids will mess with them. I guarantee it.

There are fire alarm buttons in hotels, and emergency stop buttons on platforms and in trains. I don´t see kids mess with them. Your "guarantee" seems pretty selective.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In addition to emergency stop buttons, as someone mentioned above, a simple redesign of the shroud where the handrail returns into the escalator would help to prevent a recurrence of this tragedy, as well as getting backpacks and jackets sucked in, as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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