Turkish shopkeeper saves falling toddler

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Escalator in a shopping mall in Turkey.
Image: Akinon.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

A four-year-old Istanbul toddler was saved from serious injury by a quick-thinking shopkeeper, who caught the boy as he fell the thirteen feet (four meters) from the floor above. CCTV security cameras caught images of both the child riding on the outside of the escalator and Ali Apari's sure-handed catch.

Noticing that the child was dangling from the handrail Apari ran below the boy as the four-year old neared the railing at the top of the shopping centre escalator. As the boy fell, Apari positioned himself to catch the toddler as he fell off eight feet above him.

Arapi said later, "Children believe the escalators are playgrounds, the families are irresponsible. The families should take better care of their children." Arapi had just had a brain operation a month before this incident, and Arapi could have been badly injured himself, if the child had hit his head instead of his arms.

However this is not the first incident of a child falling from riding an escalator at the shopping mall. Four days earlier in imitation of older children, a two-year old had to be rushed to hospital after falling from halfway up the escalator. After these falls the shopping mall has attempted to thwart attempts to ride the outside of the escalators by impeding access with flower pots. In 2006 a sixteen-year old and a three-year old died falling from escalators in Turkey.