Maid was flung up, then thrown down after lift shoots up 17 storeys
Ang Mo Kio lift shoots up to top storey before jamming, trapping Indonesian maid for 1½ hours
First, the lift doors refused to close. Then the lift went up to the third storey.
Before Ms Evi Lisnawati, 36, could figure out what was going on, she felt her body flung up and then against the lift wall.
She later realised that the lift had shot up all the way to the 20th storey, the highest in Block 317, Ang Mo Kio Street 31.
"What happened is still a blur to me. My mind was in a blank. There was no time to react," the maid told The New Paper yesterday.
The lift incident happened at about 7.15pm on Monday.
Speaking in simple English, the Indonesian said she was on her way to pick up her employer's daughters from a nearby tuition centre.
She took Lift A, one of the two lifts that service the block, from the 5th storey, where her employers live, to the ground floor without incident.
When it got there, the doors, parted only slightly before closing again.
SAFE: Lift technicians helped to free Ms Evi Lisnawati. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO READER
Thinking it was just a minor glitch, Ms Evi hit the "open" button. Instead of opening its doors, the lift moved up and stopped at the third storey.
She felt a small jerk. In two seconds, the lift suddenly zoomed up and hit the ceiling of the lift shaft.
The impact from the bump was so great that the maid, who is 1.5m tall and weighs 40kg, was flung up and then thrown to the floor.
"I remember falling down on the floor and then hitting the wall. I called my (employer) so she could get help for me," said Ms Evi.
Helpless and alone in the lift, she started pressing the emergency button.
"It got a little stuffy inside, there was no air circulation. I kept trying to tell myself it's okay," she added.
A resident who lives on the 4th storey, Mrs Lisa Teo, said that from the frequency the emergency bell was rung, it sounded like Ms Evi was panicking.
PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO READER
The housewife in her 40s said she was making dinner when she heard what happened.
"It sounded like someone slammed the door but it's much louder than that. Like somebody threw down a fridge," said Mrs Teo.
"Later, we heard someone ring the emergency bell and saw that the lift had stopped on the 20th storey."
Mrs Teo climbed the stairs all the way to the 20th storey to find out what happened.
"I didn't dare take the other lift," she explained.
By then, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was already working with lift technicians to prise open the lift door.
An SCDF spokesman said it was alerted to the incident at 8.30pm on Monday.
It was a gruelling 1½ hours before the petite Indonesian stepped sideways out of the partially opened lift.
"I was very happy to be out," said Ms Evi.
She declined to be to be taken to the hospital to check on her injuries.
"My back is still painful but it's minor. I think all I need is some rest," she told TNP.
This is the first time Ms Evi has been caught in such an incident in her six years working with her employer.
"I couldn't sleep until about 1am. I usually sleep at 10pm," she said.
"That's why this morning I woke up late and my (employer's) children missed the school bus.
"I'm okay now but I am still thinking about the incident.
"Now, if I have to take the lift alone, I feel scared."
It got a little stuffy inside, there was no air circulation. I kept trying to tell myself it's okay.
- Ms Evi Lisnawati
LIFT STILL OUT OF SERVICE
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was alerted to Ms Evi Lisnawati's incident at around 8.30pm on Monday, said its spokesman.
A Red Rhino and one ambulance was sent to the scene.
No forcible entry was conducted, added the SCDF spokesman. Ms Evi was freed with the help of a lift technician and assessed by paramedics but she declined to be taken to the hospital for a check-up.
The New Paper visited the block yesterday and found the lift still out of service.
An Ang Mo Kio Town Council spokesman said it is investigating the incident with the lift maintenance team.
OTHER LIFT MISHAPS
An 85-year-old woman's hand was severed in a freak lift accident at Block 322, Tah Ching Road.
The widow had been trying to stop the lift doors from closing before her dog, which was on a leash, could enter the lift. She also fell and broke her left leg in the incident.
An elderly cleaner in his 70s suffered serious injuries after he fell 4m down a service lift shaft at One Devonshire condominium.
The service lift has an open-walled metal platform and is used to move rubbish bins from the basement to the first storey, where they are collected by garbage trucks.
Rescuers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force found the man conscious and sitting on the platform when they arrived.
Four women were trapped in a lift at UE Square.
The lift rumbled and shook violently after one of the women entered the lift on the 10th storey.
The lift is believed to have plunged three storeys. The women were rescued about 1½ hours later.
A woman entered the lift at Regency House on Penang Road when it shot up nine storeys before slamming into the shaft ceiling and dislodged debris. She dislocated her shoulder.