Lift plunges 14 floors in Hong Kong high-rise block

November 5th, 2008 - 10:05 am ICT by IANS  

Hong Kong, Nov 5 (DPA) Checks were being carried out on lifts in apartment blocks across Hong Kong Wednesday after a lift plunged 14 floors, seconds after the only person inside stepped out.The woman exited the lift on the 14th floor after hearing “a strange noise” just before seven of its eight steel cables snapped in a public housing block in the city’s Tai Po district.

The lift, which should have been halted by safety clamps, plunged to the ground with the pulleys and wires crashing down onto the roof of the lift after it finished its descent. No one was hurt.

There are more than 1,000 lifts of the same type in public housing blocks across the high-rise city, and inspections were being carried out Wednesday to make sure other lifts are safe.

A spokesman for the city’s Housing Authority and Housing Department said the checks should be completed this week and a detailed report would be presented by manufacturers and maintenance workers to the authority.

The incident in Tai Po took place October 25 but was only made public when Chinese-language newspapers revealed details of it Tuesday.

Officials described the incident as rare and they had planned to wait until the investigation was over before making a public announcement.

The great majority of people in Hong Kong, which has a population of 6.9 million, live in high-rise apartment blocks and use lifts every day to get to and from their homes and places of work.

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