Xiang Liujuan was shopping with her two-year-old son at Anliang department store in Hubei, China, when the accident happened.
The 30-year-old mother managed to throw her son to safety as she fell through the floor-plate of the escalator.
Two staff members tried to help the woman, as half her body became trapped in the machinery but were unable to save her. Rescue crews reportedly took four hours to remove Liujuan's body from the escalator.
Workers have been blamed for her death for failing to screw the floor plate back into place after carrying out routine maintenance work.