Ang Mo Kio lift incident: Brakes were probably not functioning well, says examiner

A man reads an article pasted at the lift lobby in Ang Mo Kio, where an Indonesian maid was trapped by a faulty lift (left) on March 7, 2016.
A man reads an article pasted at the lift lobby in Ang Mo Kio, where an Indonesian maid was trapped by a faulty lift (left) on March 7, 2016.ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN TAN

SINGAPORE - The lift in Ang Mo Kio that malfunctioned in early March was likely to have had brakes that were "not functioning well", investigations have found.

The authorised examiner appointed by Ang Mo Kio Town Council to inspect the lift concluded that the brakes "could not hold the lift car in a stationary position", the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said on Tuesday (March 29).

The examiner, who submitted his investigation report to the BCA on March 24, said this could have been due to "jammed mechanical parts of the brakes, oily brake drum and worn-off brake liners".

 
 

On March 7, domestic worker Evi Lisnawati, 36, fell and hurt her back after the lift shot up 17 storeys suddenly.

The machine, Lift A at Block 317, Ang Mo Kio Street 31, later stalled and trapped her for over an hour before she was rescued.

The lift was subsequently suspended from use while investigations were carried out by an authorised examiner appointed by Ang Mo Kio Town Council.

The BCA said its own independent inspections concur with the examiner's findings.

It added that Ang Mo Kio Town Council's lift contractor has since completed the "required rectification works", and that the BCA had allowed the lift to resume operation on Monday (March 28) after it was certified safe for use.

As an additional safety measure, the examiner has also recommended Ang Mo Kio Town Council to engage an authorised examiner to conduct brake tests on the problem lift every quarter for the rest of this year. This is to "verify that the brakes are functioning normally", and is "over and above" the brake tests the lift contractor is required to do during the lift's monthly maintenance, said the BCA.

The BCA added that it takes a "serious view" on any non-compliance of its safety regulations, and will take enforcement action where appropriate.

It said: "Lift owners, including the town councils, are required by law to engage registered lift contractors to maintain their lifts, and lift contractors should do so with due diligence."