AMK residents wary of lift which 'broke down again'

AMK residents wary of lift which 'broke down again'
PHOTO: The Straits Times

RESIDENTS in Ang Mo Kio have been shunning a lift that suddenly shot up 17 storeys last month, hurting a domestic worker who was in it.

It has broken down again despite having been certified safe for use last week.

Residents at Block 317, Ang Mo Kio Street 31, do not dare to take Lift A, saying it is "too terrifying", Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday.

A 38-year-old resident, Abby, told Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News in a report yesterday that the lift broke down at least thrice since March 28, when it was certified safe for use by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

The lift had malfunctioned on March 7, hurting Evi Lisnawati, 36, when it shot up 17 storeys and stalled, trapping her for more than an hour.

Her employer told Shin Min that Ms Evi no longer dares to take the lift by herself and will use the stairs if she is alone.

An authorised examiner appointed by Ang Mo Kio Town Council (AMKTC) to inspect the lift concluded last week that the brakes were "not functioning well" and "could not hold the lift car in a stationary position".

The BCA said last week that the town council's lift contractor had completed the "required rectification works" and allowed the lift to resume operation on March 28.

But residents remain wary.

A Wanbao reader who gave his name as Mr Chen said it was stuck at the second floor when he went home at about 11pm on Sunday.

He saw that it was half-open and used the stairs instead.

He added that the lift was still stuck when he passed by at about 6am the next day, so he informed the town council.

Wanbao visited the block on Monday afternoon and found that the lift had been repaired, with a few men who appeared to be lift maintenance workers monitoring it.

Although Lift A had been fixed again, many residents chose to take the other lift or the stairs instead.

A resident with a child in tow pulled him away when he tried to enter Lift A, telling him: "That lift is too scary."

However, 74-year-old resident Madam Hong said she did not see a need to avoid taking Lift A, as she felt the breakdown was merely an accident.

"Are we to not drive or walk on the roads just because there are accidents on them every day?" she asked.

AMKTC chairman Ang Hin Kee told Lianhe Zaobao that the lift had malfunctioned as plastic nails believed to be from furniture had been lodged in the lift gaps, stopping the door from closing.

He added that the relevant authorities and town council will carry out inspections in four areas, including lift installation standards, skills of lift technicians and maintenance.

He said: "We (also) want to remind residents on how to use lifts safely. For example, to avoid throwing items into lift gaps, or jamming cardboard into lift doors to keep them open while moving furniture and the like."

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