Boy, 7, injured in falling hotel door accident

The door of a conference room at Grand Mercure Shanghai Hongqiao Hotel in Changning District collapsed and injured a young boy on Saturday morning.

A 7-year-old boy injured when a wooden door collapsed at the Grand Mercure Shanghai Hongqiao hotel in Changning District was said to be in a stable condition on Sunday.

He has been given painkillers so he can rest, staff at the Children’s Hospital of Shanghai said.

The door involved in Saturday morning’s incident has been removed for investigation and a conference room will be out of action until any safety problems are fixed.

The boy, surnamed Yang, was attending a dance event with his father, organized by K&H International School, an English training institution, when the accident happened.

He was immediately taken to hospital where doctors said his life was not in danger but that he would need to stay there for “some days.”

Wei Jia, the doctor treating the boy, said Yang was conscious when he arrived at the hospital at 9:04am.

“He has a cerebral contusion, bruising of the brain tissue,” Dr Wei said, adding that the bones around his nose and eye sockets were fractured. Yang was occasionally vomiting because of the contusion.

It is not yet known if he will require surgery. “The boy’s eyeball is swollen and he’s in a lot of pain,” said Dr Wei. “It is better to wait for the swelling to reduce first.”

According to Han, a member of the school staff, the show was due to start at 9am.

Yang’s father said the door collapsed at around 8:30am when more than 10 children waiting to take part in the event had lined up behind it.

According to surveillance footage, a hostess for the event walked to the door and pushed it open, leading it to falling and hitting the boy.

Yang’s father said he had not seen what had happened as he was in the bathroom but, after taking his son to hospital, he learned the event had gone ahead as scheduled.

“How can they carry on with the event when such an incident just happened?” he said.

Han said she didn’t know why the event had gone ahead and the school was looking into the decision.

Yang’s father said while his son will recover from his injuries, the trauma may haunt him for some time.

“I asked him just now if he still wanted to learn English and he cried no because he was so afraid,” Yang said.

The hotel’s PR manager, Song Li, said that when she arrived at the hotel around 11:30am the event had already finished and the scene had been sealed off.

However, when a Shanghai Daily reporter went to the hotel at around 5pm the conference hall, on the top floor of a three-story annex to the main hotel, the wooden door was lying in the room and the room had not been sealed.

On the second floor, a boy’s birthday party was taking place. Around 10 children were playing games and chasing each other. None of the parents were aware of the morning’s accident.

Song said the door had been inspected just last month. “We have been using the door for more than 10 years,” she told Shanghai Daily. She said the door had been reinforced in December last year.

The door that collapsed and injured a boy at Grand Mercure Shanghai Hongqiao Hotel

An inspection of another eight doors in the building similar to the one that collapsed has begun, Song said.

The top of the wooden door which should have been fixed to the wall may have come loose, she said. “It could be the cold weather. Wood may contract and expand because of the air-conditioning.”

At the Grand Mercure Shanghai Century Park in the Pudong New Area, Shanghai Television reported that a company holding a conference there had hired security personnel to open and close the doors. One of them told its reporter that when they opened the doors of the conference room, some were tight and made a noise. Some of the conference room doors were sealed, they added.

Zhang Yucheng, who is in charge of the hotel’s maintenance, said the doors had been in use for about 12 years, and they had already noted problems with them, even before the accident at the Hongqiao hotel.

He said it wasn’t easy to find the right components since the doors were old. He said the hotel had ordered parts from the factory to reinforce them. According to hotel records, it had spent over 70,000 yuan (US$10,150) repairing the doors.

Before the work started, some of the doors which could pose safety risks had been sealed.

Changning District’s information office said an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident. Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism has ordered all hotels and enterprises to inspect the safety of doors and windows.

Grand Mercure is a sub-brand of French hotel chain Accor. There are two Grand Mercure hotels in Shanghai.

Earlier this month, 12 mirrors were removed from Foxtown Mall in Xuhui District after a fatal accident when one fell on a 6-year-old girl.

The accident happened in the I.T. Apparel store on the evening of December 8.

How the mirror was attached to the wall and why it collapsed is under investigation. All other mirrors in all shops in the mall were examined.

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