Investigation into lift incident at Wan Tau Tong Estate completed (with photos)

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has completed the investigation of a lift incident on November 9 at Wan Tau Tong Estate, Tai Po. A warning letter was issued to the lift contractor for its negligence.

During the investigation, EMSD found that one of the four suspension ropes at lift number four at Wan Lam House, Wan Tau Tong Estate, had broken.  The other three suspension ropes were found in safe condition. No physical damage of other lift components was observed. The breakage of one of the ropes was detected by the safety device attached to the lift car, which immediately stopped the operation of the lift to protect the safety of passengers.   There was no injury in the incident.

The broken rope was examined by an independent expert of the University of Hong Kong and tested by the Government Public Works Central Laboratory. The test results confirmed that the tensile strength of the ropes complied with the manufacturer's technical specification. The wires of the broken rope exhibited signs of overload and some wire ends showed signs of corrosion.  It is believed that the corroded wires caused deterioration in the tensile strength of the broken rope and led to the eventual failure through overloading.
The EMSD regards the failure of the lift contractor, Fujitec (HK) Co Ltd, to identify the rust on the rope as a negligent act. The department issued a warning letter to the lift contractor on December 9.  The issuance of official warning letters may lead to disciplinary action in the event of future incidents.

The department will closely monitor the performance of Fujitec and more frequent inspections of its installations will be made.

The investigation report of the Wan Tau Tong Estate has been uploaded for public information to the EMSD's website today at the following address: (

The department has completed a separate investigation into a lift incident at Fu Shin Estate, Tai Po, on October 25, to identify the legal liability under the Lifts and Escalators (Safety) Ordinance.  The Department of Justice's advice is being sought for taking possible legal action against any liable party.

Ends/Thursday, December 18, 2008
Issued at HKT 14:01


Broken rope inside the lift shaft at 31/F, Wan Lam House, Wan Tau Tong Estate, Tai Po.  No damage was found on the lift machine inside the lift machine room.  No damage was found on the counterweight.