A 77-year-old man died in the early morning of 16 May after a lift accident that left him in a coma. Mr Lim Hang Chiang had reversed his motorised wheelchair out of a lift that had stopped 15 centimetres above the ground, causing him to fall backwards.
The accident occurred in a lift at Block 247, Pasir Ris Street 21 at around 10.30 am on 15 May. Two other residents also took the lift with Mr Lim. He entered the lift on the 11th floor and sat with his back facing the lift doors. When the lift reached the ground floor, Mr Lim exited by reversing his motorised wheelchair out of the lift.
However, as the lift was 15 centimetres above the ground, Mr Lim fell backwards as he reversed out of the lift, hitting his head on the ground.
Mr Lim had been using the motorised wheelchair for years after he had suffered a stroke and underwent hip replacement surgery around 17 years ago. On the night of the accident, he reversed out of the lift as he normally did.
Mr Lim’s daughter-in-law, Wang Ying, told Shin Min Daily News that the two neighbours who shared the lift with him had pulled him and his wheelchair aside after the fall. She reported that while Mr Lim said that the back of his head hurt, it was not bleeding.
While Mr Lim was conscious after the accident, he fell into a coma shortly afterwards in Changi General Hospital.
The victim’s youngest son, Mr Lim Keng Swee, 45, said that his father would not have seen the unlevelled ground.
“My brother brought him to Changi General Hospital where the doctors said his condition was not too good. After an X-Ray and two CT scans they determined his brain was bleeding quite heavily,” the younger Mr Lim said.
“The whole vehicle toppled, and my dad fell backwards and hit his head. He fell head down, so he suffered a skull fracture and internal bleeding in the brain.”
While doctors at the hospital considered performing surgery, Mr Lim’s old age made it difficult and he would likely be bedridden in a permed any coma even following the operation, said the younger Mr Lim.
Mr Lim passed away in the hospital at 2.14 am on 16 May.
The faulty lift has since been suspended in its operations and is currently undergoing repair.
Member of Parliament of Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council Zainal Sapari stated in a Facebook post that his team had been notified of the incident at around 10.40 am that morning. Additionally, the Town Council also released a statement regarding the incident, stating that it had been “issued a notice to suspend the lift operation and to appoint an Authorised Examiner to conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the incident.”
This incident is the fourth accident involving a lift that has been reported in the past seven months.