After getting his leg stuck in a moving escalator for about one hour, a three-year-old boy sustained critical injuries before being rescued in the central province of Nghe An on Monday.
Bui Xuan Van said he was taking his son, Bui Hoang Hai, to ride the escalator at the Big C Supermarket in Vinh Town, when the boy fell and his right leg got caught between the moving staircase and the floor, Dan Tri reported on Tuesday.
The accident happened just as the boy stepped onto the escalator between the second and third floors, the news website quoted Van as saying.
The escalator was supposed to go up as usual, but for some reason its direction had been reversed that day, he said, adding that there was no warning sign to alert customers of the change.
At first Hai's trousers became ensnared and then his leg, said his father, who immediately began shouting for help.
The supermarket's security guards shut down the escalator, but their efforts to rescue the boy, who was crying in agony, were in vain, the news report said.
Upon being informed of the accident, Nghe An's force of firefighting police officers arrived, but they too were unable to extricate Hai immediately, because "it was the first time such case happened (in Nghe An)," Colonel Le Quoc Bao, chief of the provincial firefighting division, said.
"The child's thigh was seriously stuck, so we had to use a hydraulic lifting machine, cut the electric system, and lift the staircase to take him out," Bao said.
Hai was rushed to Nghe An Pediatrics Hospital, where he received first aid, before being transferred to a hospital in Hanoi later that same day, according to the news report.
The initial diagnosis by Nghe An's doctors said he had suffered critical injuries to his thigh, stomach and penis, it added.
Speaking to the news website Tuesday morning, leaders of the supermarket called the accident "rare" and a "pity," promising that they would visit Hai's family, and soon resolve problems related to escalators to guarantee customer safety.
A report on the US-owned CBS News in 2009 revealed that nearly 10,000 people, many of them children, end up in emergency rooms due to escalator accidents every year in that country.
Accidents on escalators can happen when one's shoe or shoelaces get stuck in the gaps between an escalator's steps, or one's clothing gets snagged by screws protruding from an escalator's sides, the report said.
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