On 24 April at approximately 9:25 a.m., six people were injured while riding an escalator in Akihabara Station, Tokyo.

All the victims suffered injuries as serious as broken fingers when a piece of metal siding became bent upwards blocking the clearance between it and the rubber handrail.

Sadly, this digital carnage could have been easily avoided if people in Tokyo just stood on the right side of the escalator like normal people.

The bend occurred a couple meters into the 13-meter escalator climbing from platforms three and four to platform five. A stretch of metal about 30-centimeters in length somehow got pushed upwards.

This situation created a hard to see and gradually pinching space in which fingers could easy get trapped. No abnormalities were found in the escalator during the regular inspection on 12 April in accordance with building laws. The staff who turned on the escalator at 4:00 a.m. also noticed nothing out of the ordinary.

With the cause of the malfunction still unknown, authorities are searching security to find out how the metal could have become bent.

Each of the victims was injured in the left hand which would suggest they were standing on the left side of the escalator also known as “the wrong side to stand on” to people from the Kansai region.

In fact, I’ll venture a hunch that much of the escalator using population of the world follows the “stand right, walk left” unwritten rule. As humans I think it’s something we’re hardwired to do.

So people of Tokyo and other parts of Japan (you know who you are), it’s time to rise up as a group and start standing on the right side of the elevator: the right side. Not only is the left weird, it’s dangerous!

Source: Asahi Shinbun (Japanese)
Video: YouTube – TomonewsJP