SINGAPORE - What started as a simple journey home for Mr Kuang Bor Yuan, his wife and his sister-in-law on Tuesday night (Nov 6) ended with a trip to the hospital for the trio.
Mr Kuang said they had just taken the train to King Albert Park MRT station and were on the escalator to the bus stop at around 8.10pm when he felt a slight jerk.
The 68-year-old then lost his balance and fell backwards. This caused his wife and sister-in-law, who were standing below him on the escalator steps, to fall as well.
Mr Kuang said the next thing he knew, they had fallen halfway down the escalator, which was still moving.
Worse still, his 63-year-old wife was bleeding from her head where it had struck the escalator steps.
"She was screaming, bleeding profusely, and I was trying to hold her," he said.
The escalator was eventually stopped, and staff from the station came to their assistance. A passer-by helped to carry Mr Kuang's wife down the escalator steps, as she could not walk.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force took the trio to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. In addition to the gashes on his wife's head, Mr Kuang said he suffered from bruises on his back, scratches on his shoulder, a sprained ankle, and a cut on his ankle.
His sister-in-law's chest was also injured.
Mr Kuang told The Straits Times on Friday that he and his sister-in-law had since been discharged from hospital, and that his wife had been transferred to Alexandra Hospital as she was still feeling giddy at the time. She later developed a slight fever.
While he was grateful that "nobody died" during the fall, Mr Kuang also said he felt SBS Transit could have handled the incident better.
He claimed that SBS Transit had not followed up on the incident with him until he called them on Wednesday.
"They should have at least called to find out how we were," he said.
However, he also noted that a customer service officer from SBS Transit visited his wife in hospital on Thursday with essence of chicken which she had bought with her own money, and that SBS Transit sent a fruit basket to his wife and sister-in-law on Friday.
Ms Tammy Tan, senior vice president of corporate communications at SBS Transit said: "We are sorry to learn of the injuries sustained by Mr and Mrs Kuang and his sister-in-law when they fell on the upriding escalator at our MRT Station.
"We are in contact with them to show care and concern and have also visited Mrs Kuang at the hospital."
Ms Tan said that CCTV footage showed the escalator moving smoothly when the trio boarded it.
She added that Mr Kuang was seen standing with his back facing the side of the escalator, before losing his balance shortly after, which resulted in the two women who were behind him to fall as well.
Ms Tan said that a commuter who was standing behind the trio on the escalator was seen trying to help them while another commuter rushed over to activate the escalator emergency stop button.
She said: "Our staff also quickly attended to them. An ambulance was then called to convey them to hospital for treatment.
"We wish Mr and Mrs Kuang and his sister-in-law a speedy recovery."
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.