Xpresscalators of Langham Place Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Xpresscalators of Langham Place Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Two technicians were released on bail pending an April court appearance after being arrested on Sunday over a shopping mall escalator accident in Mong Kok that injured 18 people.

The Otis Elevator Company (Hong Kong) employees, 52-year-old Yu and 22-year-old Cheung, were charged with obstructing justice, am730 reported.

They are accused of tampering with evidence connected to the escalator accident in Langham Place, Mong Kok, am730 reported, citing an Electrical and Mechanical Services Department preliminary investigation.

At 4:40pm, 100 shoppers were traveling from the fourth floor to the eighth floor of the mall’s 21-meter-high escalator, which came to a sudden halt and then accelerated in reverse at twice its usual speed.

As a result, people lost their balance and fell down the escalator stairs. More than 10 people were stuck in the subsequent pile-up at the bottom.

A total of 14 women and four men was injured, two of whom were in serious condition and referred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Others received treatment at Kwong Wah Hospital.

Mechanical services department director Frank Chan said a preliminary investigation showed that the accident was caused by a broken drive chain and faulty brake assist system of the escalator, which had been inspected on Thursday. No overloading was noted at the time of the accident, an Apple Daily report said.

Initial findings of the report are expected to be delivered in two months.

The department said there were 57 escalators in Hong Kong with a height over 15 meters, most of which were installed indoors.

Escalator service providers have been requested by the government to complete a compulsory examination on the drive chain of these long escalators in a month.

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