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Family marks birthday and funeral of grandfather killed in latest lift accident

SINGAPORE — Mr Lim Hang Chiang’s family had bought him a cake to celebrate his 78th birthday on Friday (May 20). But the grandfather died on Monday morning (May 16), following an accident where he fell backwards and hit his head on the ground after he had reversed his motorised scooter out of a lift that had stopped about 15cm above the ground.

In a bittersweet send-off hours before his body was transported to the Mandai Crematorium, family members brought out the cake and marked a final birthday celebration for Mr Lim at his wake on May 20, 2016. Photo: Lim Keng Swee

In a bittersweet send-off hours before his body was transported to the Mandai Crematorium, family members brought out the cake and marked a final birthday celebration for Mr Lim at his wake on May 20, 2016. Photo: Lim Keng Swee

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SINGAPORE — Mr Lim Hang Chiang’s family had bought him a cake to celebrate his 78th birthday on Friday (May 20). But the grandfather died on Monday morning (May 16), following an accident where he fell backwards and hit his head on the ground after he had reversed his motorised scooter out of a lift that had stopped about 15cm above the ground.

In a bittersweet send-off hours before his body was transported to the Mandai Crematorium, family members brought out the cake and marked a final birthday celebration for Mr Lim at his wake at Block 247, Pasir Ris Street 21.

“This is how our father has lived his life. Happy birthday,” his youngest son Mr Lim Keng Swee said on Friday morning.

The lift accident which killed the elder Mr Lim is the fourth reported case here in seven months and also the most serious one to date.

The incident occurred on Sunday at around 10.40am. Mr Lim was still conscious after he fell, but went into a coma shortly after he was sent to Changi General Hospital. Doctors said he had bleeding in his skull and could not be operated on without leaving him in a permanent coma, his son Keng Swee told TODAY in an earlier interview.

The lift in question has been suspended from use and the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council has been instructed to appoint an authorised examiner to carry out a thorough inspection, said the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), in response to queries. The town council said the Housing and Development Board and the police have also been informed of the incident and that it would cooperate fully with investigations.

After a string of high-profile lift accidents, the BCA announced in March that it was stepping up audit checks on lifts across the island, especially those in HDB blocks, ahead of legislative changes to be introduced later this year to beef up lift regulations and standards.

On Oct 9 last year, an elderly woman’s hand was severed by lift doors in a freak accident at Tah Ching Road. The 85-year-old also fell and broke her leg. Three months later, a lift at Block 114, Edgefield Plains continued to move even though one of its car door panels was still open.

In Ang Mo Kio Street 31 in March this year, a domestic helper was trapped for 90 minutes after the lift she was in suddenly shot up 17 floors, causing her to fall and hit her back.

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