Last working lift gives out at 22-storey building

Office workers have been forced to use the stairs since last Thursday, when the one functional lift serving the entire building broke down. Two lifts have been closed for almost two months and a third one stopped working almost two weeks ago.
Office workers have been forced to use the stairs since last Thursday, when the one functional lift serving the entire building broke down. Two lifts have been closed for almost two months and a third one stopped working almost two weeks ago.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Mr Jai Prakash, 38, who runs Jai's Security Services, taking the stairs to his office on the 13th floor of Golden Mile Tower yesterday.
Mr Jai Prakash, 38, who runs Jai's Security Services, taking the stairs to his office on the 13th floor of Golden Mile Tower yesterday. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Two other lifts at Golden Mile Tower being upgraded, one out of order for past 2 weeks

Workers at the 22-storey Golden Mile Tower are being forced to pant and puff their way up the stairs after the last working lift in the building broke down.

Two of the Beach Road building's four lifts have been closed for upgrading for almost two months, while a third stopped working two weeks back, the workers at the building told The Straits Times.

This had left just one functional lift to service the entire building - until it gave way last Thursday.

When contacted, the building management did not confirm the duration of each lift's closure but a circular dated on Monday was put up at the lift lobby informing workers of the latest breakdown.

The circular added that lift contractor Kone is "working around the clock" with its subcontractor to push forward the completion of upgrading works at one of the lifts, and it should be operational by this Friday or earlier.

This has given little consolation to the workers at the building.

Madam Goh Kah Chu, 69, takes about 15 minutes to get to her office on the 18th floor and has to take regular breaks during her walk up to rest and catch her breath.

"My muscles will be painful but I just climb slowly," said Madam Goh, who works as an administrator in a logistics firm. She added that all four lifts have been out of operation at the same time on at least three occasions in the past two years.

"Usually at least one lift will be repaired within a day," she said. "This is the longest that all the lifts have been out of operation."

'Fed up' with lift breakdowns

Mr Patrick Wong, 63, climbs the stairs twice a day to get to his building consultancy firm on the 11th floor. "It's very tiring," he said.

"They (the building management) promised us it will be fixed by Friday. We will see then if it really happens."

When The Straits Times visited the building at lunchtime yesterday, all four lifts were barricaded, two of them with signs that they are being closed for upgrading.

LONGEST WAIT FOR REPAIRS

Usually, at least one lift will be repaired within a day. This is the longest that all the lifts have been out of operation.

MADAM GOH KAH CHU, 69, who takes about 15 minutes to get to her office on the 18th floor and has to take breaks during her walk up to rest and catch her breath.

About 30 people were seen going up and down the stairs between 11.30am and 12.30pm.

The ageing building was completed in 1974.

"Everyone is very fed up," said lawyer Edmund Hendrick, 57, who works on the 16th floor.

"It's been going on for so long. Something should have been done a long time ago."

Building manager Fong Kah Wai said the lifts are about 25 years old and have parts that are obsolete. He declined to comment further until the technical report is out.

Workers in the building said the lifts have been facing several technical issues. Last November, Ms Queenie Chong, 22, said she was in the lift when it dropped three floors and came to a stop in between the fifth and sixth levels.

"We were in the lift for about 15 minutes before someone on the fifth floor prised open the lift doors from outside," said the account assistant who works on the 22nd floor.

She added that since she began working in the building last September, she has had to use the stairs about seven times.

"Sometimes (I use the stairs) because only one lift is in operation and I need to wait about 10 minutes for an available lift."

Kone could not be reached for comment.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2018, with the headline 'Last working lift gives out at 22-storey building'. Print Edition | Subscribe