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Singapore Flyer suspends operations indefinitely due to ‘technical issue’

SINGAPORE — Operations at the Singapore Flyer have been suspended indefinitely, after a technical issue led to 61 passengers being alighted at about 9am on Thursday (Jan 25).

Singapore Flyer suspends operations indefinitely due to ‘technical issue’

The Singapore Flyer has suspended its operations due to a “technical issue”. Photo: Koh Mui Fong/TODAY

SINGAPORE — Operations at the Singapore Flyer have been suspended indefinitely, after a technical issue led to 61 passengers being alighted at about 9am on Thursday (Jan 25).

The 165m-tall observation wheel will remain closed on Friday as engineers seek "more clarity" on the cause of the issue, said Ms Veronique Ye, its director of marketing and sales.

"We are working closely with the relevant authorities and the specialist professional engineers to find out the cause of the technical issue," she added.

Affected passengers have been informed to contact the Singapore Flyer's customer service team at 6333 3311, from 9am to 10pm, or their travel partners with any questions related to the cancellation of their bookings.

On its Facebook page, the Flyer's management said it had suspended operations to "conduct a thorough check before resuming business".

Visitors TODAY spoke to were disappointed by the closure. Ms Thelma Cruz, 29, a Mexican tourist who was there with her mother, said Thursday (Jan 25) was her last day in Singapore.

"We were looking forward to the Flyer – everyone says it's a must-visit," the English teacher added.

Ms Wang Xi, 34, said she was "really anticipating" a ride on the Flyer. The tourist from China was with her four-year-old son and had bought tickets online the previous night. "I was a bit disappointed to see it was closed. But there are other things to do. We will go on the Duck tour now," she added in Mandarin.

Another tourist Mr Ronnie Chu, 33, said he had already planned the itinerary for his remaining time in Singapore, and would not be able to visit the Flyer again.

The tourist attraction, which began operations in February 2008, is no stranger to glitches. In its first 10 months of operations, it faced four glitches, with one incident affecting more than 100 guests.

On Dec 4, 2008, about 70 people were stranded on the wheel when it was stuck for nearly five hours due to bad weather.

Almost three weeks later, 173 guests were trapped in the Flyer for more than six hours because of an electrical malfunction, before power was restored and the wheel began moving again at about 11pm.

In July 2010, the Flyer was shut after one of its electrical cables supplying power to the air-conditioning systems was struck by lightning, affecting the air-conditioning system. Some 200 passengers had to be evacuated. It was reopened two days later after repair works were completed.

The Flyer also faced financial difficulties beginning in 2010. It was placed under receivership at the end of May 2013 for failing to meet financial obligations to banks, just five years after it was launched to great fanfare.

In 2014, Merlin Entertainments, the operator of the famous London Eye, abandoned its talks to acquire the Flyer.

Three months later, the Flyer, which cost S$240 million to build, was bought at a knock-down price of S$140 million by publicly listed tourism operator Straco Corp.

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