A short video of a mother's fatal fall into a hole atop an escalator — moments after she saved her son — has been pulling at viewers' heartstrings since it was released last Sunday.
But as horrifying as it was, the tragedy captured on security cameras was only the first of three high-profile incidents that happened on Chinese escalators and elevators over the last week.
Just Tuesday, another teenager burst into an empty hotel elevator shaft, fell, and died, according to news portal Sina News.
Businesses' overall lack of any sort of safety mentality, appropriate training for staffers, and failure to comply with regulations are making people distrustful of public security.
People figured out that they had to be more self-reliant to guarantee their safety. These are some of the results of a national brainstorming strategy, fitting the Chinese pattern of reacting to tragedies with laughter instead of tears:
1. The "I'm afraid of you, but I can go around you" strategy:
2. "Every single step is a life-threatening pitfall," this man is teaching his children:
3. The "bring a tool/stick/umbrella with you" plan of action:
4. This ultimate guide for riding an escalator has begun circulating on Weibo. A commenter says, "Trained to do standing long jump for so many years and it's finally in use, now I understand the school gym teacher's deep love."
5. And some users, like "Pear Puree" here, are resigned to the chance of death. "Such an era of 'coming into the world by planning and die at random'!" they wrote, referring to China's family planing policies.
6. But then things, as they tend to do when the internet is involved, got weird. Here's one girl attempting to answer the question: "Does it mean I'm safe as long as I don't touch the ground?!"
7. Same idea, but be careful, OK? Read the blue board on your left that clearly says "Watch Out for Head" in Chinese.
8. This is a bad idea. Do not attempt this idea.
9. Because even the handrails are dangerous. One Weibo user says, "Actually, the handrails run into problems sometimes too... There's one in a shopping mall near my place that moves backwards every dozen seconds; kids with weak balance will fall down."
So remember: Always treat the escalator with the respect that it deserves.
Beimeng Fu is a BuzzFeed News World Reporter covering China and is based in New York.
Contact Beimeng Fu at email@example.com.
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