Railings that led to severe injury, death fully replaced at Ala Moana Center

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More than a year after a railing gave away and killed a man, Ala Moana Center says it’s done fixing rusty railings.

The tragic accident also critically injured another man, and shone a critical spotlight on safety at the popular mall.

Now that the railing work is done, KHON2 wanted to know if it’s safe for shoppers.

Ten-thousand feet of new railings flank Ala Moana’s perimeter and walkways. The condition is noticeably different from pictures taken in 2016.

Building expert Lance Luke took a look at the new railings on Thursday.

“Ala Moana shopping center is a lot safer right now with brand-new railing with concrete work. In the past, the old design was railing basically to the ground level, and that was part of the problem with the steel railing that corroded, concrete cracking, spalling,” Luke explained.

The condition of the railings at the state’s largest outdoor shopping mall was thrust into the spotlight when one of the banisters gave way in October 2016.

Nicholas Freitas, 21, died, and Macroy Nagato, 21, was severely injured. He spent months in a Colorado rehabilitation center.

Luke says with construction finished, the railings are up to code and, most importantly, safe.

He explains the reason the new railings were made using aluminum, rather than steel.

“Steel actually corrodes. It corrodes a lot faster than other types of metal, like aluminum or stainless steel,” Luke said.

“Ala Moana Center is constantly evaluating and adjusting to help in its mission of providing an outstanding environment and experience for all,” said Francis Cofran, senior general manager of Ala Moana Center.

The attorney for the two victims says Nagato is back home, but wasn’t able to comment on his condition.

The city issued the mall a notice of violation after the accident, but the case is closed now that the work is done.

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