Why are our lifts failing us?

Another day, another lift accident. What on earth is happening to our HDB lifts? A lift in Block 542 Jurong West Avenue 1 dropped suddenly on Saturday night (1 July).  A woman in the 30s fractured her leg in the incident. She was in the lift with four others, and the occupants managed to evacuate the lift by the time rescuers arrived. Ms Raudhah Putri, the injured woman’s niece, wrote about the incident on Facebook.

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Thank goodness nothing more serious happened. This could have resulted in someone dying, especially if the occupants were frail and elderly. This is but the latest in a spate of lift accidents. Most recently on 12 June, a 10-year-girl hurt her foot when part of the lift ceiling at Block 325A Sengkang East Way collapsed.

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The lift accidents are becoming too frequent, so much so that we are getting used to them, much like MRT train breakdowns! Not sure if it is a problem with the maintenance regime or the quality of lifts has gone down. A silver lining is that in the latest incident in Jurong West, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) came in quickly to say that it was suspending the lift for investigations. But I seriously hope that they get to the root of the problem.

With so many people living in high-rise HDB flats, getting the lifts right is a must. After all, lifts are not a luxury but a necessity, especially if you are elderly and you live on a high floor. Strange that you don’t really hear of lift accidents in condos? Are condo lifts better maintained?

Anyway, MPs have their eye on the problem. They should because their residents are affected. A number of Parliamentary Questions were filed for the Parliament sitting on 3 July. Whatever it is, I hope the authorities sort out this problem before someone gets seriously hurt. Our MRT trains went from 1st world to 3rd world. Hopefully, our HDB lifts don’t suffer the same fate.