Jem's sprinklers come on, flooding shops

Jem's sprinklers come on, flooding shops
SOAKED: Sprinklers on the atrium side were triggered yesterday afternoon, said a spokesman, who did not say what caused them to go off.

There were indoor showers at the Jem mall in Jurong yesterday, when some sprinklers came on unexpectedly, damaging goods and forcing some tenants to shutter for the day to clean up.

A large section of the ground floor spanning some 15 shops was cordoned off until about 3.30pm while cleaners mopped up the water, and some escalators remained switched off in the evening.

A Jem spokesman said water sprinklers on the atrium side of the mall were triggered at about 12.15pm, causing water to reach some areas on levels B1, 1 and 2, as well as some shops. The spokesman did not say what had caused the sprinklers to go off.

Skin care company Astalift's shop manager, Denise Su, 25, said the incident lasted a few minutes and left parts of the ground floor under water that was toe-deep.

Massage chair and equipment maker Ogawa has an ongoing event in the atrium, and an employee said about 10 chairs and 60 smaller pieces of equipment were damaged by the water. 

The chairs cost between $4,000 and $7,000 each, while the smaller items cost between $25 and $700, he said.

"After the water came down, the mall switched off the power to the atrium at about 2pm," said the employee. "We haven't tried to turn the chairs back on as we don't know the extent of the damage yet."

At least three shops - Lowry's Farm, Poh Heng Jewellery and Soo Kee Jewellery - said they would remain closed for at least a day to clean up, while nearby Sephora shuttered its entrance closest to the affected area at about 5pm, but stayed open.

Jem, which opened nearly a year ago, was in the news because of two incidents of fire in August.

It was also closed for nearly two weeks the following month after its first-floor ceiling collapsed because of a burst water pipe. The mall was also hit by an 11-hour power failure in March.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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