A ten-year-old boy in Chennai died on Friday, three days after he fell from the second floor of the Express Avenue mall at Royapettah. According to the FIR copy filed by the police, Naveen's bag got caught on the escalator and he was flung down with great force. His family has now blamed the mall and its lack of safety measures for the child's death.
The incident happened on April 10 and CCTV footage from the venue shows him falling to the ground, the bag in front of him. People immediately rushed to the child and carried him away.
Naveen was at the mall with his family to play games and to shop. They were standing on the second floor around 5.30 pm when the tragic incident occurred.
The family in its complaint to the police has accused the mall of not having enough safety measures in place. They have further blamed authorities at the mall for the child's death. Naveen's father, Sanil Kumar has asked for action to be taken against the Safety Manager at the mall for his son's death.
The police however have filed the case under section 304(A) which is accidental death.
Speaking to TNM, an investigating officer said, "The incident happened when the child was standing on the escalator. It is clearly a freak accident. How can we blame the mall for something like this? Thousands of people take that escalator every single day. When something like this suddenly happens, what can we do? There is nothing that the mall could have done."
He further placed the onus of the safety of children near escalators on their parents and guardians.
"When you are taking children with you on the escalator you have to ensure that you have an eye on them at all times and that you keep them safe," he said.
Accidents involving children on escalators are not new to the city. In January this year, a four-year-old boy was left with severe injuries after he fell into a gap between an escalator and staircase at a newly built textile showroom in Porur.
He was at the venue with his mother to buy toys and clothes. His mother was looking at clothes on display and the child stepped on the escalator and leaned on a piece of plywood which was temporarily installed. The plywood reportedly gave way and he plunged through the gap and landed on the third floor.
Mall authorites were not available for comment.