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Electrical & Mechanical Services

The Electrical & Mechanical Services Department acts as a regulatory body and law enforcement department regarding electricity, gas, lift and escalator safety. It provides engineering solutions and services, and promotes energy efficiency, alternative energy sources and improving indoor air quality in government buildings.

Lift accident caused by component failure

October 25, 2010

The September 11 elevator failure in Tsui Lai Garden, Sheung Shui, was caused by the detachment of the lift counterweight components, an investigation has found.


Released its findings today, the Electrical & Mechanical Services Department said the lift was descending from the 24th floor to the 15th under normal speed and conditions.

When it reached the 15th floor, the counterweight components detached from their frame.

Without the counterweight, the car fell and safety gear stopped it at the 14th floor with a passenger trapped inside.


City University experts found the counterweight frame met the manufacturer's specifications. But localised embedded particles, which had formed during manufacturing, were found in the fracture surface of the frame. This latent defect led to the frame's failure.


The department has since tested the counterweight frames of the 23 other lifts used in Hong Kong, which were manufactured from the same batch of materials as the faulty frame, with no similar defects found.


Tsui Lai Garden's registered lift contractor Sigma Elevator (HK) has agreed to replace the counterweight frames of the 23 lifts by year's-end. The department will closely monitor the work.


The department said no similar failure has been reported before, making the incident an extremely rare one. It will enhance inspection of counterweight frames.


Click here for the full report.