Blackout hits Far East Shopping Centre

Blackout hits Far East Shopping Centre
Golf & Leisure was one of the shops hit by the blackout.

When the power went out at her beauty salon, two customers were having body treatment.

"We were in darkness for a few minutes before my small generator kicked in, but we still couldn't continue. Without the air-conditioning, the therapy rooms got really stuffy," said the owner of Institut Lapis Lazuli, Ms Lily Lim.

Hers was one of the shops in Far East Shopping Centre, located in the prime Orchard Road belt, affected by an hour-long blackout yesterday.

All the shops in the seven-storey shopping podium lost electricity and air-conditioning when the building experienced an outage at about 3.15pm. There was, however, still light along the corridors and walkways.

Ms Lim told The New Paper on Sunday there were two electrical trips around noon, but no one addressed them.

"Maybe if someone came to look then this long one would not have happened," she added.

Ms Lim had to turn away customers and cancel appointments due to the hour-long blackout. She also could not collect payment for those who had their treatment done.

"The credit card machine was not working. Who brings cash when they come for a massage or facial session?" she asked, adding that she "could have lost a couple of thousands" as her clients were supposed to pay for packages.

Another shop owner who lost "big business transactions" was Mr Bob Seth, owner of Golf & Leisure.

COULDN'T PAY

He told The New Paper on Sunday that a customer who picked several "expensive golf items could not pay because the credit card machines were all down".

"He left soon after and I can only wonder if he will ever come back," Mr Seth lamented.

"It was unfortunate that the power trip happened, especially when Saturday afternoon is the busiest time of the week for most of us," he added.

Far East Shopping Centre, which was built in 1974, is one of the older buildings at Orchard Road.

A spokesman for the building's strata title management, Mr Martin Gan, said power returned at 4.10pm, after an engineer reset the system.

"We are investigating the blackout and will be speaking to the tenants on Monday to address the loss of business," he said.

juditht@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on May 10, 2015.
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