Boy crushed in Roppongi Hills’ doors

A 6-year-old boy died Friday after his head was crushed in the revolving doors at the main entrance to the Mori Tower building in the Roppongi Hills complex in Minato Ward, Tokyo.

It was subsequently learned that the same doors injured two others late last year.

Ryo Mizokawa, of Suita, Osaka Prefecture, ran ahead of his mother while they were on a tour of the complex and got his head jammed in the revolving door at the main entrance on the second floor of the Mori Tower building at around 11:30 a.m., according to a police investigation.

Mizokawa’s mother and passersby pushed the doors in the opposite direction to free him. A security guard was alerted and he called an ambulance.

The boy’s head was jammed between the door coming from his left and the outer frame.

He received medical attention from a doctor at a hospital in the Roppongi Hills complex before being transferred to another hospital. He died two hours later, rescue officials said.

Mizokawa had just finished kindergarten and was to start elementary school next month. He was in Tokyo with his mother to visit his father, who works in the capital, during spring break.

It was also learned Friday that two girls had been injured in separate accidents involving the same doors, in November and December. The Metropolitan Police Department has begun a structural investigation of the doors, suspecting professional negligence resulting in death.

The manufacturer of the doors, Sanwa Tajima Corp., said the same day that it would suspend sales of the model used at Mori Tower.

Officials of Mori Building Co., the complex’s operator, said they were shocked by the incident and would ensure a similar accident never happens again.

“We pray that the child’s soul will rest in peace,” the officials said in a statement.

The revolving doors, which are more than 2 meters wide, are designed to stop if their sensors detect an obstruction.

They divide the entry space into two chambers that can each hold seven adults. The rotation speed of the doors slows when sensors detect people approaching.

A woman from Shiga Prefecture who was visiting Roppongi Hills with her two children said the doors were frightening because the rotation speed changes upon approach.

The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry said there are no legal safety standards regarding such doors, which have become increasingly popular at large facilities. Ministry officials said they would collect data on the doors to see whether some form of legal safety measure is necessary.