Tah Ching Road lift accident: Report by authorised examiner expected in 2 weeks

DPM Tharman speaking to reporters outside NUH, after visiting lift accident victim Khoo Bee Hua.
DPM Tharman speaking to reporters outside NUH, after visiting lift accident victim Khoo Bee Hua. ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN
DPM Tharman speaking to Taman Jurong Citizens Consultative Committee chairman Goh Peng Tong outside NUH.
DPM Tharman speaking to Taman Jurong Citizens Consultative Committee chairman Goh Peng Tong outside NUH. ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN
 Lift repairmen inspecting lift B at Block 322 Tah Ching Road after the incident on Oct 9, 2015.
Lift repairmen inspecting lift B at Block 322 Tah Ching Road after the incident on Oct 9, 2015.PHOTO: ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - An independent report investigating the cause of a lift accident that took place in Jurong on Oct 9 is expected to take at least two weeks to complete, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Wednesday (Oct 14).

Mr Tharman was speaking after his visit to the National University Hospital (NUH), where he spent more than an hour with accident victim Khoo Bee Hua.

Madam Khoo, 85, had her left hand severed by a lift door when she tried to stop it from closing. She had been returning with her dog to her flat at Block 322, Tah Ching Road, where she lives alone.

"There's nothing to hide. There must have been something wrong with the lift, even if maintenance checks were done, we have to take responsibility," said Mr Tharman, who is also MP for the Taman Jurong ward where Madam Khoo lives.

 

"We have to wait for the authorised examiner to do an independent report and make sure on the basis of that report that this never happens again."

He added that it will take at least two weeks for the report to be completed. The Building and Construction Authority has since suspended the lift from use while investigations are ongoing. 

Mr Tharman shared that he had known Madam Khoo and her late husband, a former school principal, for more than 14 years through their community work. He said Madam Khoo is "very well regarded in the community".

Mr Tharman had gone to NUH soon after arriving in Singapore from Peru, where he had been attending an annual International Monetary Fund meeting since last week.

Of Madam Khoo, he said: "She's a remarkably strong person, and has been for years. She's doing very well under the circumstances... She's got a very strong mind, she's totally alert, and in fact we had a very long conversation going back several years."

Madam Khoo, who underwent her first operation on the day of the accident, went for a second one on Monday to close her forearm wound and treat a leg fracture suffered during the accident.

Doctors had been unable to re-attach her hand due to complications.