NEWS

Mother: Watch Over Your Child When Out and About

A woman whose son’s fingers were wedged between the steps of what is believed to be the escalator’s skirt plate has urged parents to keep a closer watch over their
31 Oct 2016 11:00
Mother: Watch Over Your Child When Out and About
MHCC

A woman whose son’s fingers were wedged between the steps of what is believed to be the escalator’s skirt plate has urged parents to keep a closer watch over their children.

What was to have been a peaceful Sunday shopping turned into panic when a toddler’s fingers got stuck in an escalator at MHCC Suva.

Cries of agony from the child drowned out the usual noise in the mall as a maintenance personnel and a member of the public tried to free the toddler’s hand.

The operation of the escalator was stopped as soon as alert was given.

The incident drew a big crowd at first floor of MHCC when the Fiji Sun team was at the scene.

A distraught mother also wailed in empathy while holding her son as bystanders comforted her.

The toddler’s mother who wished to remain anonymous said her son slipped off her husband’s hand.

“My husband was carrying him and he was moving a lot so he put our son down to adjust his bag and he was right across the escalator.

“My son ran to the escalator that was coming down and stepped into it and it pulled him back, he tried bracing himself and his hand got wedged in.”

The mother was still inside Jack’s Fiji outlet on the first floor when the incident happened.

“I wasn’t aware of what was happening,” she said.

“I saw people running and crowding outside so I thought maybe the escalator got jammed.

“I came outside to have a look and when I saw that it was my son, I was almost blacked out.”

The mother said that his son was screaming while they were trying to free his hand so she tried to comfort him the best she could.

“I never expected it to happen but it has really taught me to be more careful next time and to be more vigilant when we have children around,” she said.

The young boy’s hand was successfully freed after several attempts by the security to open the base of the escalator using a crow bar before the National Fire Authority reached the scene.

 

Medical assistance

The child was then immediately rushed to the CWM Hospital by a taxi driver who was also at the scene.

At the hospital, the mother said: “The X-ray results showed that two of the his fingers are hurt but they’re ok and there might be fragmentations in his middle finger which the doctors will be doing operations on, and thereon they will decide on what to do.

“There’s a lot of complications now and I’ll be relieved after the operation.

“As long as he’s ok after the surgery and there’s no complication we are good. We’re just glad that it’s not something else and that he’s alive.

“We hope that he comes out well and I’m sure he’ll be ok.”

MHCC parent company Carpenters Fiji Group Retail and marketing director Kunaseelan Sabaratnam said: “The parents were in front of Jack’s when the kid ran towards the escalator and the kid’s got his fingers stuck in the escalator which straight away was attended by our maintenance team.”

While details of the actual cause of the incident remain sketchy, Mr Sabaratnam said their elevators were regularly inspected every month.

He said it was important for parents and guardians to be vigilant for their children’s safety when in big shopping malls such as MHCC.

 

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  filipe.naigulevu@fijisun.com.fj

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