Work on new Sentosa cableway suspended

Work on new Sentosa cableway suspended
Photo of the tower where the incident is believed to have happened. A cable car fell to the ground while another was halted with a worker inside at Sentosa yesterday.

SINGAPORE - Work on Sentosa's new intra-island cableway was suspended yesterday after an empty cable car dislodged and crashed onto a construction site on Sunday.

No one was hurt in the incident but an employee riding in a car behind was suspended in mid-air for three hours before he was moved to safety.

Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) is building the cableway to transport visitors around the island.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) issued a directive yesterday to cease all installation works for cable lines. Work can resume only after BCA "is satisfied that all necessary rectification and mitigation measures have been implemented", it said.

A spokesman for SDC said the contractor, Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH, is assisting BCA in its investigations.

Calls made to the Austrian ropeway company yesterday were unsuccessful.

As an additional measure, Doppelmayr must now hire engineers registered with the Professional Engineers Board, Singapore to make sure that the supporting tower is stable.

These third-party engineers will also submit suggestions to BCA on how to prevent another mishap. Throughout the process, Doppelmayr is expected to work with them on securing the site.

At a visit to the site, BCA investigators were on the supporting tower and a police cordon closed off the site entrance.

No word is out on what might have gone wrong as investigations are still being carried out, and it is unclear how the incident will affect the March 2015 deadline for the completion of the intra-island cableway link, said the SDC spokesman.

BCA said construction can continue on the cableway stations as "the incident is related to the cableway systems" only. The stations are being built by a different contractor, Gammon.

The incident is also unrelated to the cable car line from Mount Faber to Sentosa, which remains in operation.

Construction on the new $18.6 million cableway started in the second quarter of last year.

The 860m-long link, yet unnamed, will be able to hold up to 38 cabins and transport visitors between clusters of attractions at Merlion Plaza, Imbiah Lookout and Siloso Point.

This article was first published on August 12, 2014.
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