Gulf News reader M.M. Ebrahim takes a snap of two unaccompanied children playing on a mall’s escalator. Image Credit: Gulf News reader M.M. Ebrahim

Dubai: A two-and-a-half year old child sustained serious injuries in Al Ain city after falling from an escalator at a shopping centre.

The child, identified as N.K, was riding the escalator with his parents last Sunday afternoon before iftar, according to Arabic media reports.

When the child reached the first floor, the rail suddenly gave way and he slipped, causing him to fall straight to the ground floor.

Police and an ambulance were immediately dispatched to the shopping centre, where the child was rushed to a nearby hospital for surgery.

Abu Dhabi Police said the young boy sustained head injuries, and was currently recuperating at hospital.  

A spokesperson of the shopping centre commented on the incident, and reassured that an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the barrier's malfunction.

Escalator safety

Last year, authorities in Dubai took preventive measures to ensure the safety of children after a five-year-old boy lost his big toe on a hotel escalator.

Dubai Municipality ordered all shopping centres and other buildings to make escalators in their premises safer to prevent accidents involving children.

Failure to do so will incur a fine starting from Dh1,000, according to Local Order No. 11 of 2003.

Buildings were ordered to secure escalators by:

  1. Installing a cover to protect the upper conveyor belt
  2. Providing the required protection at the starting area of the conveyor belt

The circular also ordered that all elevators, escalators, and moving passageways must have a certificate of examination and compliance with the safety requirements of a company accredited by the Emirates International Accreditation Centre.