Shoppers, diners hit by partial blackout in Raffles City

Patrons at the Starbucks outlet (left) at Raffles City last night. At 9.25pm, power had not yet been fully restored and much of the mall (below) was still in darkness.
Patrons at the Starbucks outlet (above) at Raffles City last night.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Patrons at the Starbucks outlet (left) at Raffles City last night. At 9.25pm, power had not yet been fully restored and much of the mall (below) was still in darkness.
At 9.25pm, power had not yet been fully restored and much of the mall (above) was still in darkness. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Mall suffers power outage at about 8pm; security officers say it was due to a power trip

Some shoppers and diners at Raffles City had to abandon their plans for the evening when the mall was hit by a partial blackout last night.

The mall said in a Facebook post at 8.14pm that it was alerted to the "partial power outage" at about 8pm, and was working to restore supply. It apologised to shoppers for the inconvenience.

More than an hour later, most of the lights in the mall were still off. Shoppers were seen leaving the mall, which was shrouded in darkness.

Mall security officers, who were stationed at the entrance to guide shoppers, said the blackout was due to a power trip.

A spokesman for electricity supplier SP Group said it understood that there was an electricity supply interruption in parts of Raffles City.

"Our network is in order. We have reached out to Raffles City to offer assistance," she added.

Mr John Lee, 23, a part-time waiter at the Da Paolo Gastronomia restaurant, said customers and staff were calm when the blackout happened. All the equipment, including fridges and cash machine, was down. "People went 'woo' when the lights went out suddenly, but everyone just went on as normal," he said.

After it became clear that the mall was not going to get power back soon, customers who had paid but had yet to get their food were asked to come back another day with their receipt for the meal or get a refund. The staff said they were preparing to close for the day.

Mr Alvin Ng, 34, told The Straits Times he was walking with his wife in the basement of the mall when the blackout hit. "The lights suddenly went off, but the backup generators soon kicked in and the common areas were lit up. People began to stream out and the process was quite orderly," he said.

"Shop assistants stood in front of their shops to direct traffic but maybe also to prevent shoplifting. It was all quite calm."

Mr Kendrick Ho, 23, who works at The Cookie Museum, said: "I was serving a customer when it happened, so I was a little stunned. The escalators were down, the cash register was down. But the Chinese New Year music continued playing."

Some diners were taken aback by the sudden power outage.

Banking associate Ms Lim, 37, who declined to give her full name, was midway through her dinner with a friend at Sushi Tei when the lights went out.

She said: "All of our food had arrived so we just continued eating in the dark, thinking that the lights would come back on soon. But when we finished our meal in 30 minutes, it was still not back on and it got quite uncomfortable in the dark, so we left."

Social media was abuzz over the outage, with some people saying that they were forced to leave midway through their meals.

Facebook user Muthu Suresh Mike said he did not hear any public announcement, so he waited for 15 minutes in the dark before leaving.

Raffles City said in a Facebook post that power was restored progressively from about 9.30pm, and it closed for the day at about 9.40pm while working on restoring the power supply in full.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2020, with the headline 'Shoppers, diners hit by partial blackout in Raffles City'. Print Edition | Subscribe