Guard sacked after badly mishandling lift incident

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 May, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 May, 1993, 12:00am

I WISH to apologise to Mr C. Ho and his fellow passengers who were trapped in a lift in Wan Chai Immigration Tower on May 4 (letter headlined, ''Security staff couldn't care less'', South China Morning Post, May 22).

The incident of the tower's commercial guard failing to keep in communication with the trapped passengers via the lift intercom was in contravention of the building management's standing instructions.

The guard was dismissed by his company later in the day in view of his unhelpful attitude to the passengers, and his failure to respond correctly.

Standing instructions for lift breakdowns require the building staff to react immediately to the lift alarm bell by setting up voice contact with the passengers to assure them that their predicament is known about, and to ascertain whether anyone has been injured, or is in a state of shock/panic, or whether an expectant mother or incapacitated person is a passenger.

If the passengers are safe and reasonably relaxed, the lift maintenance company will be the first point of contact for the building staff, but if passengers are in trouble or expectant mothers, etc are present, a 999-call will be made as an emergency measure.

The response time from the lift companies is usually within 15-30 minutes depending on traffic conditions and building locations and, during this waiting time, the building staff are required to keep in touch with the passengers to comfort and reassure them that help is on the way.

I very much regret that the latter steps were not taken by the guard on the day.

JIM FARQUHAR Property Services Branch Architectural Services Department