Staff of Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) inspecting the escalator.
MIRI: Land and Air Transportation and Safety Assistant Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin has urged Malaysia Airports Berhad (MAB) Miri to replace all the old escalators in Miri Airport as soon as possible to prevent the incident on Sunday from recurring.
In a press statement released yesterday, Lee revealed that the escalators were last maintained and serviced on May 31 this year.
“I have requested for all the three escalators to be changed to new ones as they are too old and have not been changed since Miri Airport began its operation in 2003.”
At the meantime, he said MAB was in the process of calling for tender, therefore contractors had been called to repair and get spare parts for the broken part of the escalator.
Lee, who is also Assistant Tourism Minister, added that he had called the director of Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) to investigate the incident and at the same time to look into the other escalators and elevator in the airport to ensure they are in good working condition and safe for use.
In the 3pm freak incident last Sunday, a local and a tourist were on one of the three escalators at the airport to get to the departure hall at Level One.
It was said that the tourist was standing in front of the local man when the steps in front of them broke apart, prompting both of them to jump off.
Fortunately, no one was injured.
Earlier in February this year, DOSH informed that a nationwide inspection would be carried out on escalators, especially in shopping malls.
It said a study would look into the technical aspect, usage and human factor to further improve the safety features of escalators.
The checks were conducted following an incident where a four-year-old boy had part of his left foot severed when it got stuck in between the side panel and the steps of an escalator at Kuala Lumpur Sentral last Feb 8.
The department advised parents and adults accompanying children on escalators to be extra careful and ensure their children’s feet are within the designated area (yellow demarcation line on step).
They were also told to be extra careful if their children wear rubber slippers or soft shoes because the slippers and shoes are easily pulled or snagged on a moving escalator.