Woman hurt after lift shoots upwards

A notice to suspend the lift's operations for "rectification works" has been issued. The malfunction lay in the speed control system, which affected the position of the lift carriage,  says the building's owner.
A notice to suspend the lift's operations for "rectification works" has been issued. The malfunction lay in the speed control system, which affected the position of the lift carriage, says the building's owner.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

She says it shot up 9 floors before slamming into shaft ceiling, dislodging debris

A normal lift ride turned into a nightmare for Ms Fera Wirawan when the lift she was in malfunctioned and shot up nine floors without warning.

The 34-year-old, who works in a bank, told The Straits Times she was on her way to pick up her son from his Chinese enrichment class at Regency House on Penang Road last Saturday, when she entered the lift at the office building's Basement 1 carpark.

Ms Wirawan said her husband was about to follow her in when the lift bolted upwards at a faster speed than usual without the doors having closed completely.

She did not even have time to press the button for the third floor, where her son's enrichment centre is based.

The couple attempted to press buttons to stop the lift, but to no avail.

In the confusion, Ms Wirawan said, she did not think to activate the emergency stop button as it had all happened so quickly.

The lift stopped only when it struck the concrete ceiling of the lift shaft, slightly above the eighth floor of the building, she added.

Ms Wirawan said she was thrown to the floor by the impact of the collision, which dislodged debris from the lift and lift shaft ceiling.

This included metal parts and marble slabs - one of which struck her left shoulder and dislocated it.

She then pressed the button to call for help.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received a call about the incident at about 5pm.

Ms Wirawan said SCDF officers had to force the lift doors open to rescue her before she was taken to Singapore General Hospital by ambulance.

She said: "What if kids, elderly or pregnant women had been trapped? What if those heavy articles had struck the head or spine?"

In a media statement, Far East Hospitality, which owns Regency House, said the malfunction lay in the speed control system, which affected the position of the lift carriage.

Regency House is made up of two buildings which have offices, shops and serviced residences. The lifts are operated and maintained by Chevalier Singapore Holdings.

Far East Hospitality said it has instructed engineers from Chevalier to "assess and rectify the speed control system".

Lifts here are regulated by the BCA, and maintenance checks are held monthly and safety inspections annually. The BCA said it is investigating the incident and has issued a notice to Regency House to suspend the lift's operations for "rectification works". It has also requested an investigation report on the cause of the incident.

jianxuan@sph.com.sg


LIFT ACCIDENTS  IN THE PAST YEAR

  • June 2013

A five-year-old boy had a near miss at a block in Tampines when the lift he was exiting suddenly ascended half a level with the doors still opened.

He was pulled back into the lift by his father.

  • May 2013

Lawyer Lisa Lee was in a lift at a carpark in Chin Swee Road with her husband when she felt it plunge before stopping suddenly.

The incident left Mrs Lee's husband with a broken leg.

  • May 2012

A Filipina maid and an elderly woman were pinned under a lift car at the Church of St Michael for an hour when it descended on them as they were entering the lift shaft.

The elderly woman survived but the maid, 46-year-old Clarita Abanes, died a week later from head injuries.