Girl, 3, in ICU after falling from escalator in mall

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GEORGE TOWN: A three-year-old girl is in critical condition after falling off her father’s shoulders while riding on an escalator here, yesterday.

The incident occurred at about 6.30pm at the Bukit Jambul Complex here, as the father was going up to the first floor of the mall with the victim astride his shoulders, accompanied by his wife and son.

According to reports, the father was distracted by his son who had shoved a balloon stick into a nook of the moving stairs. This caused the father to panic and lose his balance as he frantically tried to free the son’s hand, resulting in the victim falling off his shoulders and plunging to the ground floor.

The victim is currently warded at the Intensive Care Unit of the Penang Hospital, with a cracked skull and massive internal bleeding.

Closed circuit television (CCTV) footage of the incident, uploaded on YouTube, shows the father carrying his daughter on his shoulders, before disappearing around a corner. Moments later, the child is seen falling to the ground floor, just inches away from the escalator’s handrail.

Mior said the father will be investigated under Section 31 (1)(a) of the Child Act 2001, for exposing his child to physical harm.

He may be jailed for 10 years, or fined RM10,000, or both, upon conviction.

This is not the first time a child has been injured in an escalator incident.

Back in June, a three-year-old sustained injuries to his private part after his trousers were trapped in an escalator at a supermarket in Perak. In February, a four-year-old lost half of his left foot after it got trapped in an escalator in KL Sentral.

In June last year, a 15-month-old’s hand was severed at the wrist after it got caught at an escalator, also in KL Sentral. The toddler was said to have been playing near the escalator when the incident occurred.