SINGAPORE - When polytechnic student Ang Bing Xuan, 18, returned home with his family after dinner one Sunday evening, they were not expecting the lift ride up to their Housing Board flat to be "like a roller coaster".
The elevator went up and down a few times, before finally stopping at the 14th floor at Block 670 Jalan Damai. They live a few floors below.
"The lift would suddenly stop and then jerk downwards, and then go up again."
He was with his parents and his 19-year-old sister during the incident on May 6.
When The Straits Times visited the block on Monday (May 14),representatives from Building And Construction Authority (BCA), HDB, Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) and elevator maintenance contractor G9 Elevator were present to inspect the lift.
The incident was first reported by Lianhe Wanbao last Sunday.
Residents told ST that both elevators at the HDB block have been intermittently faulty for several years. They also faced a myriad of problems, such as the lift door being unable to close fully.
The elevators are managed and maintained by Aljunied-Hougang Town Council. They were built by Express Lift, which is no longer registered in Singapore.
AHTC said that it responded to a report of a faulty lift on May 6. It was shut down to run tests and became operational again on May 8.
Mr Ang’s experience on May 6 was not the residents’ first encounter with the faulty lift.
Earlier that day, his mother was in the lift when it travelled up and down a few times without opening its doors. She got out when the door finally opened on the ground floor and reported the incident to the town council.
The lift was then under repair for a few hours that day. The Ang family assumed the fault had been rectified when they saw the lift back in operation in the evening.
A day before, another family had a similar experience.
A logistics analyst who wanted to be known only as Ms Goh, 45, said her husband, her four-year-old son and 75-year-old father-in-law were in the lift when it stopped suddenly on the third floor.
It then “descended quickly to the ground floor”. They also reported the incident to the town council.
Another resident, Ms Nur Farahnishyah Khalid, 22, a processing officer, said she had several experiences of being in the lift when it would “suddenly stop and then plunge” .
AHTC said it is working with BCA to avoid a recurrence of the problem. BCA said it is investigating the matter.