Lift incident under investigation

In response to media enquiries, a spokesman for the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) said today (January 2) that the department was conducting an investigation into the tragic lift incident which occurred on New Year Day in Fanling, resulting in the death of an 11-year-old boy.

The investigation, which is expected to take about two weeks to complete, would also identify any necessary remedial actions to prevent the recurrence of similar incident.

Describing the incident as rare and unfortune, the spokesman stressed that it was an isolated one and noted that Hong Kong had all along maintained a sound track record in lift safety. In the past year, of more than 40,000 lifts being in service in the territory, there were about 100 cases of reported incidents, all of which were minor in nature without causing serious human injuries.

On the regulatory system for lift monitoring, the spokesman explained that under the Lifts and Escalators (Safety) Ordinance, all lifts were required to be periodically maintained by a Registered Lift Contractor at intervals not exceeding one month.

In addition, all lifts are required to be tested and examined by a Registered Lift Engineer in every 12 months. The registered Lift Contractor has to issue a certificate of test and examination to EMSD for endorsement after each test and examination.

The Ordinance also requires lift owners to report incidents to EMSD and registered lift contractors to investigate lift incidents and submit a report to the department.

"There is also a Performance Monitoring Point System to monitor the performance of the registered contractors and engineers," he said, adding that prosecution or disciplinary action would be taken where necessary against those registered contractors and engineers who have contravened any of the provisions of the Ordinance.

The spokesman reminded members of the public to heed the safety guidelines for using lifts, such as to remain inside the lift car when being trapped in the lift, not to force open any lift door when it is closing, and not to tamper with the lift equipment. It is also very important that children should be accompanied by adults when using lifts.

End/Wednesday, January 2, 2002