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MP Zainal Sapari vows full investigation into fatal lift accident at Pasir Ris

SINGAPORE — Member of Parliament (MP) Zainal Sapari pledged on Tuesday (May 17) to investigate fully why a faulty lift that caused an accident, which led to the death of a 77-year-old man, was not fixed, even though the problem was flagged by residents of a public housing block in Pasir Ris.

This photograph provided by the son of the 77-year-old man who died on Monday morning in a lift accident shows the motorised scooter he was on. Photo: Lim Keng Swee

This photograph provided by the son of the 77-year-old man who died on Monday morning in a lift accident shows the motorised scooter he was on. Photo: Lim Keng Swee

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SINGAPORE — Member of Parliament (MP) Zainal Sapari pledged on Tuesday (May 17) to investigate fully why a faulty lift that caused an accident, which led to the death of a 77-year-old man, was not fixed, even though the problem was flagged by residents of a public housing block in Pasir Ris.

Mr Zainal, who is MP for the Pasir Ris-Punggol ward, said: “Personally, I am a bit concerned that the issue has been reported previously, and despite the intervention by the lift maintenance, it still persisted.”

He added: “It happened during my watch in the constituency. So we will get to the bottom of this, and we will try to review our internal processes to see how we can prevent (a) recurrence.”

Mr Zainal is chairman of the town council, which received reports of the lift fault before the accident happened at Block 247, Pasir Ris Street 21.

On Sunday morning, Lim Hang Chiang entered the lift at the 10th floor while seated in his mobility scooter.

His family members and eye-witnesses said that when the lift doors opened at the ground level, the floor of the lift cabin did not align with the ground outside but stopped 15cm above it.

Lim, not realising this, reversed his scooter to get out, fell backwards and hit his head on the ground.

Residents living in the same block told TODAY that they noticed the problem started about two to three months ago — the lift doors would open even though the lift cabin was not level with the ground. They had reported the matter to the town council.

Residents from the surrounding blocks said that they also noticed similar occurrences in the lifts at their blocks.

Mr Zainal, who was at Lim’s wake on Tuesday morning, assured residents that the cases of other lifts in the area with similar problems would be prioritised and investigated.

“I have asked the town council to check the records again to see what were the actions taken when the problem was reported, and to see whether there were other similar reported faults in the lifts in Pasir Ris, and to check those lifts as well,” he said.

Other MPs from the constituency visited the wake later on Tuesday, including Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Ms Sun Xueling.

Mr Eric Lim, 51, and Madam Amerly Lim, 50, both children of the deceased, said that the family would be seeking compensation and would not accept it if they deem it unsatisfactory.

Madam Lim, a homemaker, said: “We cannot just let such a case (slip by). We are talking about a life here. It’s not just any accident or injury. He could have had a few more years to live.”

Her brother, a sales executive, said: “With this incident, we hope that (the authorities would) pay more attention to lifts and raise public awareness. There are many seniors using these scooters ... It won’t cross their minds when they take the lift that there will be such a huge step (from the lift to the ground outside).”

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