Lift tragedy: Family in shock and looking for answers

PHOTO: Deceased's family

The family of an elderly man who died after his mobility scooter tipped as he was backing out of a lift are bewildered by their loss and unsure of what to do next to find answers to what happened.

Mr Lim Hang Chiang, 77, died on Monday morning from a brain haemorrhage, about 16 hours after the incident at Block 247, Pasir Ris Street 21. The floor of the lift was about 15cm higher than that of the lobby when the lift doors opened.

He did not realise there was such a big gap as he was backing his mobility device out of the lift on Sunday morning, on his way to have breakfast with his older son.

His younger son, Mr Lim Keng Swee, 45, told The Straits Times: "I don't know how to feel right now. Even if there is some form of compensation, I don't know if that is ever enough."

Yesterday, MPs from the Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC paid their respects to Mr Lim at his wake in Pasir Ris.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and MP Sun Xueling, who went at about 4.30pm, had a 30-minute private conversation with the bereaved family.

Both DPM Teo and Ms Sun declined to comment on the incident.

Photo: The Straits Times

Mr Lim's older son, Mr Eric Lim, said: "We told the minister that we want a full investigation to be done, and to let us know the final result.

"We would like to see the parties involved dealt with. If we think the compensation does not meet our requirement, we will not accept it and we might seek legal action."

The 51-year-old sales manager added: "The minister did not elaborate much on the case but told us that if we need any help, we can let the MPs know."

Madam Amerly Lim, Mr Lim's only daughter, said: "The minister assured us he would look into the safety of all HDB lifts in Singapore."

The 50-year-old housewife added: "When we take a lift, we assume it's safe. No one would think that they would die just from using a lift."

Mr Lim Keng Swee said his father had been using the mobility device for about seven years without incident.

Mr Lim leaves his 77-year-old wife, Madam Kwek Sar Moi, three children and six grandchildren.

Madam Lim said: "We are all still trying to collect (ourselves). My mother has not fully reacted to the news. She couldn't cry."

The extended family had planned to have a joint birthday celebration on Sunday for Mr Lim, who would have turned 78 this Friday, and a granddaughter, who turns 21 today.

The granddaughter, Ms Erika Lim, who had recently graduated from Temasek Polytechnic, said: "My auntie sent us the photo and I was so shocked to see Ah Gong on the floor. I asked if Ah Gong was okay, and at that time he was still talking and conscious. We didn't know how serious it was.

"But in the evening, my dad called us all to go to the hospital. Ah Gong was already in a coma by then.

"It is very unexpected. We didn't know it would be that bad. Everyone is still in shock."

This article was first published on May 18, 2016. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.