Residents returning home to Block 28B in Dover Crescent during lunch on Wednesday (June 22) were left helpless when all four lifts serving their 40-storey Housing Board block lost power for close to an hour.
While some residents waited for the lift service to be restored, others climbed the stairs.
Resident Jess Thia, who is in her 40s, told The Straits Times she was coming back from lunch at around 12.30pm when she noticed all the lifts were out of action.
Ms Thia, who is self-employed, said many who were affected by the lift stoppage were elderly residents and housewives.
Two of the block's four lifts serve units from the first floor to the 21st floor, while the other two serve the first and 22nd to 40th storey.
Ms Thia, who lives on the 38th floor, climbed up 33 floors before the lifts started working again.
"It looked easy at the start but after 10 floors, I had to take a break," she said. "After every three to four floors from then onwards, I would take a break to rest."
Ms Thia, who has lived in the block for six years, has noticed that the two lifts serving the higher floors would take turns to break down almost every month.
"This time, I think it is okay because the lifts were back in operation after an hour," she noted.
"But I hope that there are contingency plans in place to make sure this doesn't happen again."
Another resident, who only wanted to be known as Mrs Wong, said for elderly residents living on higher levels, lift breakdowns are not acceptable.
"They may not be able to climb up 20 to 30 floors to get back to their homes," the housewife added.
West Coast Town Council, which manages the lifts in the estate, said the power supply trip happened at 12.26pm.
After receiving a resident's call, it immediately activated its lift and electrical term contractors and staff to the block.
According to the town council, the supply was restored and the lifts resumed operation at 1.17pm.
It noted that this is the first time such an incident has taken place and said it is investigating the cause of the trip.