Photo of Sun Xueling from Straits Times

Over 100 residents of two newly-built HDB flats were stranded for over 4 hours after all four lifts of their apartment blocks broke down. At around 5pm on Tuesday (Jan 10), lifts of Block 314A and 314B at Waterway Cascadia broke down and services resumed only some 5 hours later around 10pm.

According to a resident interviewed by the media, he said that the new lifts which were built in September 2016, break down as frequent as once a month and that he is used to it:

“I waited outside for four hours and went home only after 10pm. Actually, the lifts have been breaking down at least once a month since September last year. This has been very inconvenient for us, but we’re also used to it by now.”

Pasir-Ris Punggol GRC Town Council, which is responsible for the maintenance of the HDB lifts, said that the fire protection system was falsely activate resulting in the lifts grounded at the first floor.

PAP MP for Pasir-Ris Punggol GRC wrote on her Facebook page blaming the lift contractor for “inconveniencing the residents”:

“The fire alarm at Block 314B Cascadia had gone off twice (Tuesday) evening bringing lifts at Block 314B to a stop as a safety measure. I have asked for an incident report from the agencies and the lift contractor as to why it took so long to reset the lifts thereafter as it had severely inconvenienced residents and could have had dire consequences if someone had been ill during the incident.”

The PAP MP who works full-time as a director of Temasek Holdings reports to the Prime Minister’s wife, Ho Ching, who is the CEO of Temasek Holdings.