Jan 29, 1983, changed the cable car safety here.

At 6pm that day, drillship Eniwetok was being towed from its berth in Keppel Wharf when tragedy struck.

The ship was 69m in height - 9cm taller than the cableway that held up the cable cars.

Its gantry tower snagged one of the two cable car lines, sending two cable cars plunging 18 storeys into the water.

Seven passengers died in the waters near Jardine Steps as the cars sank.

Another 13 passengers were stranded in four remaining carriages for another eight hours.

They were rescued by helicopters from the Republic of Singapore Air Force.


The cable car system, which started running in 1974, only re-opened seven months later.

Up to 1982, it transported 900,000 passengers annually, but this fell to about 650,000 after the incident. Passenger numbers returned to normal only from 1987.

The cable car system is checked annually while its carriages are checked for cracks and wear and tear every five years.

Since 2011, a comprehensive regulatory framework was established under the Amusement Rides Safety Act which confers power on the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to regulate the fire and rescue management system of amusement rides in Singapore.

Operators must have an effective emergency response plan which includes providing escape routes for patrons and emergency access routes for SCDF rescue operations during an emergency.