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Photos Show 4-Year-Old Boy In China Who Died Trapped Under An Escalator Handrail

The boy was playing unsupervised with his younger sister on a subway escalator when he got wedged under the handrail. WARNING: This post includes graphic photos depicting the trapped child.

Posted on October 9, 2015, at 12:39 p.m. ET

A 4-year-old boy in China died Thursday after he got stuck under a subway escalator's handrail, officials said.

The boy and his 3-year-old sister were reportedly playing unsupervised near the escalator at a subway station in China’s Chongqing Municipality.

The two children were left alone in the station hall by their mother, Chongqing Rail Transit said in a statement. "Without a guardian, the two children came near the escalator at the station hall," the statement said.

The incident was first reported by CCTV.

The boy was leaning against the handrail when he "fell down and rolled into the narrow space between the escalator and the ground," the Chongqing Rail Transit Authority said. His chest and abdomen were wedged under the handrail.

The subway staff shut down the escalator after 20 seconds and attempted to rescue the child, but he died in the hospital after having suffered extreme pressure on his chest, rail authorities confirmed.

The Chongqing Rail Transport Authority said they were investigating the incident.

"Rail Transit Group is deeply regretful and heartbroken over this case," their statement said. "We also would like to remind all passengers to look after their young children and old folks when traveling, be more alert, and avoid similar accidents."

The tragic incident comes only two months after horrific footage showed a Chinese mother being swallowed up by a broken escalator moments after she managed to push her toddler to safety.

Both incidents have sparked concerns over the safety of escalators and elevators in China, many of which are failing acceptable standards. Last year there 49 accidents, 21 of which were caused by misuse by passengers, and eight were due to equipment failure, a spokesperson for the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of China told the state-owned Xinhua News agency in July.

According to AQSIQ data, almost 5 out of 100 elevators and escalators were found to have problems.

The spokesperson cited poor maintenance as well as aging equipment as safety hazards for several escalators and elevators.

People reacted to the incident on Weibo, with some blaming the mother for leaving the children unsupervised. "Although the parents are the most heartbroken, but this mother will be sentenced if she's in other countries, we don't have any law related to this," one Weibo user commented. Another said that such "circumstances need to be considered" when designing escalators.

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