A four-year-old boy was left with serious head injuries after grabbing hold of an ascending escalator at a shopping mall when his parents were not watching - and falling 20ft.
The child clung onto the rubber handrail on the outside of the moving staircase as it climbed from the ground to the first floor at the Global City mall in Moscow.
A video shows how he rode up to the top of the escalator as two women shoppers stood transfixed watching in horror as the drama unfolded.
With no way to free himself, the boy fell 20ft and crashed onto the counter of a café under the moving staircase, sustaining head and chest injuries.
A four-year-old boy clings to the side of an escalator at the Global City mall in Moscow, Russia, after grabbing hold of the handrail while playing
Another woman - believed to be the boy's mother - rushed towards the place where the stricken child fell.
A source at the mall told Moskovsky Komsomolets (MK): 'Taking advantage of the lack of attention from his parents, the child ran up to the escalator leading from the ground to the first floor.
'Grasping the outer side of the escalator's rubber rail with his hands, he climbed to the first floor level, where he fell onto the counter of a coffee shop, suffering injuries.'
The boy was spotted in the video trying to grab hold of the escalator handrail before strengthening his grip and was whisked up to the top.
In the footage, the top of the boy's head is just visible as he reaches the top of the escalator and falls off.
The boy manages to cling on to the escalator even as it drags him up 20ft, but as he reaches the top he falls down and crashes into the counter of a coffee shop below
The four-year-old is now in intensive care at a Moscow hospital, say reports.
MK reported: 'He has an open head injury, a fracture of the skull contusion of the brain, an internal chest injury and bruising of the lungs.
'The child is being provided with the necessary care, while law enforcers are working out the details of the incident.'
Yulia Ivanova, an official from the Russian Investigative Committee, said the authorities are 'conducting an initial enquiry into the case'.
The boy's parents are being quizzed and could face legal action.
Witnesses have also been questioned.