Jurong West lift that plummeted four storeys was serviced just two weeks before accident

(Left) A woman, in her 30s, fractured her left leg after the lift plunged four floors. (Right) The scene at Block 542 Jurong West Avenue 1 on Saturday night after the lift fell four floors.
(Left) A woman, in her 30s, fractured her left leg after the lift plunged four floors. (Right) The scene at Block 542 Jurong West Avenue 1 on Saturday night after the lift fell four floors.PHOTOS: LIANHE WANBAO, THE NEW PAPER

A Jurong West lift that plummeted four storeys last Saturday, injuring a woman in it, had its monthly servicing just two weeks earlier on June 15, said a spokesman for the Jurong-Clementi Town Council yesterday.

Responding to media queries, the town council spokesman said it "deeply regrets" the incident and confirmed that lift D at Block 542, Jurong West Avenue 1, will remain out of operation until the cause of the accident has been verified.

The woman in her 30s, who fractured her leg, was with her husband, 10-year-old daughter, brother and brother-in-law on Saturday night.

Her brother, Mr Zulkiffle Saad, 48, told The Straits Times they were visiting a relative for Hari Raya. The lift had stopped on the fourth floor and he had taken a step out of the door when they heard a sound "like a cable snapping".

Within seconds, he said, he was pulled back in by his brother-in-law as the lift began to tilt. The doors closed and the lift then "plunged to the ground".

Mr Zulkiffle said the next thing he knew, it had come to a stop and his sister was on the floor, crying and screaming that her leg was broken.

 

The lift had stopped below the ground level, and he forced the door open and evacuated his family before paramedics arrived.

Mr Zulkiffle said town council representatives and Jurong GRC MP Desmond Lee visited his sister at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital yesterday, where she was being treated.

The incident comes a month after the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) had reminded lift owners and contractors of their responsibilities, following four Housing Board lift breakdowns over three days in June.

A BCA spokesman said the lift will be allowed to resume operations only after investigations are completed and necessary rectifications by the town council's lift contractor have been certified by an independent professional engineer.

This must be done "to the satisfaction of BCA", the spokesman said.

"The investigation is still ongoing. Nonetheless, our engineers on site have checked the lift cables and note that the lift cables remained intact."

The injured woman's niece, Ms Raudhah Putri, said on Facebook that a similar incident had happened to a group of boys in the same lift previously, but "no action (was) taken" after the matter was brought up to the town council and their MP.

The town council spokesman said that particular incident had involved eight teenagers in 2015. They had to be rescued after they had overloaded the lift, which was meant to hold a maximum load of 270kg. A sign in the lift also stated "Max load 270 kg 4 persons".

He said the lift was installed in 2012 when the block underwent its lift upgrading programme.