Uncle suffers asthma attack, sent to hospital after getting trapped in lift with over 10 passengers

More than 10 people were trapped in a lift at People's Park Complex for about 20 minutes after a malfunction on Sunday afternoon, at about 4pm.

Among them, an old man was sent to a hospital after suffering from an asthma attack. 

The lift was suspected to have been malfunctioned after being overloaded. 

According to Shin Min Daily News, the lift which broke down was lift number one situated near a United Overseas Bank (UOB) branch.  

A witness, Madam Liu, 64, said the place was crowded due to the coming festive season, coupled with the fact that it was a Sunday.

She said: "According to my observation, there were more than 10 people who went into the lift at level 1. I don’t know if it was overloaded.

"It moved up a little before it malfunctioned. Some members of public immediately called for help.  Soon after that, the complex’s management, security and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) arrived at the scene.”

The entire process lasted about 20 minutes before the passengers were rescued. 

However, an elderly man seemed like he had an asthma attack and looked unwell, said Madam Liu. 

SCDF officers helped him put on an oxygen mask, lifted him onto a stretcher, and onto an ambulance. 

Said Madam Liu: "The lift looked like it was about a metre from the ground before it malfunctioned. The workers started repairing it after that."

An industry expert told Shin Min Daily News that once the weight in a lift reaches or exceeds its maximum load, an alarm will sound off, and the lift would stop working. 

Said the expert: "Some older models may have some problems with the weight detector. I advise members of the public not to go into a lift if it is already packed. Even if there is no alarm, for everyone’s safety, don’t go in."

He added that if the weight far exceeds the maximum load, this could cause the lift cables to slip, and the consequences could be dire.

According to observation from the reporters, there are two lifts at the complex, each with a maximum capacity of 11 passengers. 

The maximum load for each of the lift was 750kg. 

A stall owner who wished to remain anonymous said he often sees 10 or more passengers squeezing into the lifts, but has never heard the alarms go off. 

He added: "I’m not sure if the detectors have malfunctioned due to the ageing lifts, but we hope that the management can look into resolving this issue as soon as possible."

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