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Tuesday
Jan312012

Death on an Escalator: China‚Äôs Evolving Childcare

Death on an Escalator: China’s Evolving Childcare(BEIJING) -- A 9-year-old boy died Sunday while riding an escalator in a busy Beijing mall.  Reports are he was ascending unaccompanied from the fifth to the sixth floors.  His mother worked in one of the mall’s many stores and was unable to watch him.

As he moved upward, he poked his head over the railing to peer down.  As the escalator approached the sixth floor, the boy’s head was caught between the concrete floor above and the railing.  There are conflicting reports as to whether there may have been warning signs, but he would not have seen them if he was looking downward.  A spokesman from the Beijing Emergency Medical Center said he died instantly.

This comes after an escalator malfunctioned in July at the Beijing Zoo, killing a 13-year-old boy and injuring 29 others.  In October in Guangdong province, 2-year-old Xiao Yueyue died after she wandered into the street and was hit by not one but two vehicles and ignored by passersby.

Sunday’s incident has not sparked the same outrage as what happened at the zoo and to little Xiao Yueyue.  But Sunday’s accident and the plight of “Yueyue,” as she came to be known, does highlight a change in China and, arguably, the struggle the country is facing as it figures out how to balance bullet train growth with the traditional approach to childcare.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio