Ayala mall escalator incident

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Sunday, January 5, 2014


ACCIDENTS are really bound to happen, even in places you think you are safe. Ayin Alemania of Mandaue City e-mailed me regarding the traumatic experience encountered by her husband Zeus on an escalator at the Ayala Center Cebu last Dec. 22. I also interviewed her in my radio program over dySS Super Radyo last Saturday.

Here’s her account of the incident: At around 10 p.m., when the mall was about to close, her husband, her father and two kids were on the escalator going down from the second floor near the Time Zone area. She was not there as she was at the new wing of the mall. But the incident was witnessed by her kids and father and other shoppers.

Her husband was shocked when at the bottom of the escalator his right foot got stuck in a hole. As the escalator was moving down, he could not remove his foot from the hole. Her husband shouted to his kids to look for the emergency button to stop the escalator. Her daughter found the button and pushed it but the escalator would not stop. There was another button but it was a plain hole. Meaning, those buttons were not functioning.

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Her father and kids were so nervous and did not know what to do as the escalator continued running. Her husband, who weighs 220 pounds, was already kneeling. It was a good thing other shoppers helped pull him out from the escalator. But the escalator ate his shoe. Her husband almost fainted because of the tension. Her two kids were traumatized, seeing their father in that situation.

The mall security guards and personnel from the engineering department responded and they were able to stop the escalator. When they opened it, there were three other shoes found inside it, including her husband’s. Meaning, it was not the first incident. Sales ladies of nearby concessionaires confirmed similar incidents. Kuyaw og imong tiil maoy malamoy no? Putol gyud.

It was a good thing mall officials offered Zeus medical assistance as his foot was bruised. He was taken to the Perpetual Succor Hospital for treatment and stayed there overnight for a series of checkups. The mall shouldered the expenses. They had the incident blottered at the Mabolo Police Station.

The Alemanias are contemplating whether to file damages against mall management.

A statement released and signed by lawyer Jeanette Japzon, communication’s manager of Cebu Holdings Inc., states: “We assure the public that the equipment at the Ayala Center Cebu are regularly checked and maintained by competent personnel. Our forefront consideration is for the public to have a safe and hassle-free shopping experience at the mall.

“It is quite unfortunate that the incident involving Mr. Alemania happened.

Immediately after the incident, our personnel-on-duty attended to Mr. Alemania’s concern and brought him to the Perpetual Succor Hospital as part of our standard procedure. We extended assistance to him and coordinated with him. We are also currently conducting an investigation on the matter.”

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 06, 2014.

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