Aging equipment and lack of maintenance to blame
As aging, overused elevators go up, so does the potential for accidents, the top quality watchdog has warned.
Old, creaking machinery coupled with increased demand could endanger users, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine revealed to China Daily in an e-mail.
China is the world's largest manufacturer and user of elevators. More than 2 million were in use by the end of 2011, and the figure continues to rise by 20 percent annually, according to the administration.
"Authorities are facing greater pressure supervising safety in the elevator and escalator industry and this is a growing concern among the public," the statement said.
There were 20 fatalities from January to September in 28 serious elevator accidents.
One incident saw a 35-year-old tourist from Hunan plunge to her death when she stepped into the shaft in a department store in Shanghai in September.
The mortality rate per 10,000 elevators is below 0.2, similar to some developed countries, the administration said.
But authorities believe that as equipment ages, especially if it is more than a decade old, the risk of accidents increases.
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