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The footage is startling. You see a mother and her young son going up an escalator, but when they reach the top, the metal floor collapses, giving the woman seconds to push her child to safety before she disappears into the gap.
Now more information is coming out about this heroic mother. Chinese state media named the woman as 31-year-old Xiang Liujuan, as reported by CNN.com. Despite a four-hour rescue operation at the mall in Jingzhou, a city of more than 5 million residents in Hubei province where the tragedy occurred, firefighters declared Xiang dead when they were finally able to cut the escalator open to reach her body, state media reported.
According to CNN, mall employees found that the collapsed panel was loose and protruding five minutes before the accident, but failed to stop the escalator for inspection and repair, said Chen Guanxin, the local official in charge of work safety.
The incident has Xiang's family rightfully calling for a thorough investigation, with family members going online to vent their frustrations.
"An ordinary Sunday shopping trip ended up in such a sudden tragedy, almost ruining an entire family," said user @kkcake, who identified herself as Xiang's sister-in-law and posted some of the earliest pictures from the scene on the popular microblogging site Weibo.