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China Halts Use of Otis Escalator Model After Deadly Accident

China ordered a nationwide halt to usage of a model of escalator produced by United Technologies Co.’s Otis unit after a deadly accident on one of the machines in Beijing this week.

Otis had “unavoidable responsibility for the accident,” Zhang Juming, a deputy head of the Beijing Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision, said at a briefing yesterday, according to a transcript posted to the website of the city government. The 513MPE escalator involved in the accident that killed one in Beijing had “defects in design, manufacturing and maintenance,” Zhang said.

The city of Beijing has already suspended purchases of Otis escalators and halted operation of 257 of the machines in its subway system after an upward-bound escalator at the Beijing Zoo station changed direction without notice on July 5, causing about 30 people to fall and killing one. China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine is investigating further, according to the statement.

Li Mingjie, a Beijing-based spokeswoman for Otis, said by telephone today that the company had no comment because the investigation was still ongoing.

Zhao Borui, chief engineer at Beijing’s special equipment inspection center, said an Otis 513MPE escalator was also involved in an accident in Shenzhen in December, according to the transcript of the briefing. That accident injured 25 people, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Canny Elevator Co., China’s largest publicly listed maker of escalators and elevators, rose the most in two weeks in Shenzhen trading today.

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