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Accidents and personal safety in Hong Kong

Three lifts found with worn-out components after crash prompts citywide inspection

Lifts in Tuen Mun and Cheung Sha Wan showed ‘relatively serious’ wear and tear in suspension cables or traction sheave grooves

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2018, 9:33am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2018, 9:33am

Three lifts in Tuen Mun and Cheung Sha Wan were found to have components worn out to a “relatively serious level” during special checks conducted in wake of an incident in Tsuen Wan that left two passengers critically injured.

The inspection ordered by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department covered all lifts from the former Dong Yang Elevator firm, which manufactured the model involved in a crash at Block 2 of Waterside Plaza, Tsuen Wan on April 8.

A couple was critically injured after the lift they were going up in failed to stop and crashed into the top floor of the 46-storey block. The department said soon after the incident that insufficient traction between a sheave and the suspension cables was the likely cause.

After the incident, the department asked all registered lift contractors responsible for the maintenance of models from the same brand to complete a special inspection within two weeks. The inspection covered 384 lifts by Dong Yang, a South Korean firm later taken over by German multinational thyssenkrupp. The department carried out its own random checks.

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A total of 373 lifts – excluding the one in the Waterside Plaza crash and 10 others undergoing modernisation works – were examined, including associated equipment such as traction systems, suspension ropes and braking systems.

The department confirmed that the associated equipment was all in safe working order.

Lift No 2 in Block 1 and lift No 5 in Block 2 in Elegance Gardens, Tuen Mun and lift No 4 in Ka Ming Court in Cheung Sha Wan were found to have wear and tear in the grooves of the traction sheaves or in the suspension ropes at a “relatively serious level”, the department said.

It added however that operations remained normal and safety was not affected by the worn-down components.

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As a “prudent measure” the department ordered that the parts be replaced.

The lift in Block 1 of 30-year-old Elegance Gardens, which showed wear and tear in the grooves of the traction sheaves, was suspended temporarily pending modernisation works.

The lift in Block 2 had its suspension cables replaced and examined. It resumed normal operation afterwards.

The lift in Ka Ming Court, which opened in 1969 on Castle Peak Road, also had wear and tear in the suspension cables. They were replaced, and operation was resumed.

Meanwhile, the department said it was still looking into the lift incident at Waterside Plaza. The investigation is expected to be completed in two to three months.