Did you know that there are people with a genuine phobia about escalators? Mostly, it's linked to a fear of heights, but that could soon change in the light of new security footage that shows one attacking and devouring an innocent bystander. Sort of.
At the Cuizhu metro station in Shenzhen City, located in China's southern Guangdong Province, a woman was almost instantly sucked into the ground when she stepped on a panel in the floor just before an escalator. All perfectly reasonable, except for one problem: the panel was broken, and immediately collapsed when she walked on it.
Security footage - which you can watch in disbelief and mild horror below - shows the woman walking with a man towards an escalator at the metro station. Before she gets there, though, the metal floor panel gives way as she steps on it and she disappears in a second.
The man quickly scrabbles to help her, attempting to pull her out of the death trap - and almost falling in himself - while onlookers gather round, unsure of quite what they can to do help .
Thankfully, she was hoisted out just a few minutes later, according to train station staff. The woman was taken to a local hospital for a check-up, but luckily she was unharmed beyond cuts and bruises on her arms and legs.
A spokesperson for the metro station said they had replaced the faulty floor panel and offered an apology to the woman. They also thanked everybody who leapt - pretty literally - to her aid. Officials are apparently now investigating the incident, but it's not been announced whether the woman will receive compensation for the ordeal.
It's not the first time an escalator in China has swallowed someone. In May 2015, a woman died after a panel collapsed at the top of an escalator in a shopping. As the panel collapsed, she managed to push her young son to safety, but fell into the hole.
Despite a four-hour rescue operation, when firefighters finally cut the escalator open, the woman was declared dead.
Please be careful on escalators, everyone.
Words: Mischa Pearlman
Featured Image Credit: Asiawire