A young toddler had his hand trapped in a moving escalator while he was left playing alone at a shopping mall in south-west China.

At least two of his fingers were stuck at a yellow plate at the end of the escalator before nearby shopkeepers rushed to stop the machine.

Firefighters were alerted to the scene and removed a comb plate and took the boy to a hospital for emergency treatment.

A security guard told Pear Video, a Chinese video-sharing platform, that the freak incident took place at a clothing market in Metian county of Guizhou Province on May 21.

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This is the shocking moment a young toddler was trapped in an escalator. Photo / YouKu
This is the shocking moment a young toddler was trapped in an escalator. Photo / YouKu

"There are no adults with the boy at the time, as video shows. I guess the parents are doing shopping at that moment," said the security guard.

Surveillance camera footage shows the boy has his right hand stuck at the edge of the escalator and unable to free himself.

One older boy helped but failed to pull the boy's hand out.

One young boy desperately tries to help the trapped toddler. Photo / YouKu
One young boy desperately tries to help the trapped toddler. Photo / YouKu

The escalator kept running for another 10 seconds before some adults came to help.

A shopkeeper later rushed to the stairs and pressed the emergency button at the side of the escalator.

The toddler burst into tears as rescuers tried to free his hand.

Firefighters removed a yellow comb plate from the machine and took it along with the toddler to a hospital in Zunyi to free his fingers.

The details of the treatment have not been disclosed, but bleeding can be seen on the boy's index and middle fingers.