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People Are Freaking Out After An Escalator Malfunctioned In Hong Kong And Left A Human Pile-Up

At least 18 people have been injured, according to local media.

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Several people have been injured after an escalator in a shopping complex in Hong Kong abruptly came to a halt and then reversed at a high speed for more than 10 seconds.

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The incident occurred around 4:00 p.m. Saturday in Langham Place — a shopping mall in the Mong Kok area of Kowloon — on the 45-meter escalator that connects the fourth and eighth floors.

In a video of the incident, the escalator, which is one of the longest in Hong Kong, can be seen jolting to a stop before reversing at a high speed.

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Several people at the bottom of the escalator can also be seen rushing to help pull shoppers out of the pile.

Another video submitted by a witness to Apple Daily Hong Kong shows the pile-up of people at the bottom of the escalator — an incident that left at least 18 injured.

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A spokesperson for Langham Place said that the shopping center is looking into the incident with high priority and apologized to the victims and their families, according to Apple Daily.

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The spokesperson said that the escalator had just passed a regular inspection two days prior.

A spokesperson for Hong Kong's Electrical and Mechanical Services Department — which inspected the elevator — told Apple Daily that based on initial investigations, the escalator's drive chain had suffered damage, which prevented it from braking.

The spokesperson added that a full investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing.

Photos and videos of the incident have been widely shared via several local private Facebook groups.

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"Special service: Accident with multiple injured at Langham Place 4th floor. According to reports, several people have fallen down an escalator. Time: 16:40 on 25/03/2017"

"Final Destination... I've been on that escalator before. The view is really nice," one person wrote.

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Many are voicing their concern for those who have been injured.

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"This is terrifying. I hope everyone's okay."

"Thank you to all the brave citizens who are helping others."

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And reminding each other that this is Hong Kong, where people stay together and help each other.

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Kassy Cho is a reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Kassy Cho at kassy.cho@buzzfeed.com.

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