SINGAPORE: Passengers are trapped on the Tiger Sky Tower ride in Sentosa on Saturday evening, said the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) on Facebook.
SCDF was alerted at about 7.10pm and are currently working with the operator to rescue the trapped passengers. There are no reported injuries.
Just after 9pm, coming to two hours since the rescue operation was underway, the revolving carousel descended a few metres and loud cheers could be heard from within the cabin. But, it soon came to a stop.
A group of five Vietnamese travellers were among those trapped. They were part of a group of 21 who were here for two days and due to go to Malaysia tomorrow.
The tour operator, who did not reveal the name of the company, said this was "obviously a catastrophic failure" and his main priority now was to make sure his clients were safely down before looking into the post mortem.
He said: "Right now, I just want to leave it to the experts here to assess and determine how to rescue the people in my group."
At about 9.30pm, the cabin started moving again, but soon stopped. A walkie talkie from a rescuer nearby blared "stuck again". A large crowd had gathered.
At 9.44pm, the gondola descended and people hurried out. Most were seen heading for the toilet.
In a statement, Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) said that operations at the Sky Tower on Sentosa’s Imbiah Lookout were suspended at about 5.35pm following a mechanical fault.
"At the time of the incident, 38 passengers and one operator were in the gondola. On-site technical staff of Sky Tower immediately began troubleshooting the system. Bottles of water and food were also distributed to guests, as engineers from Sky Tower worked to lower the gondola. The capsule also has a mobile toilet," SDC said in its statement.
Sentosa Rangers were subsequently called in to assist Sky Tower’s engineers with the manual winching to lower the gondola.
SDC said: "At 7.10pm, SCDF was activated for assistance and SCDF staff are now in the capsule with the passengers to prepare for an evacuation. All passengers are safe in the capsule."
"The safety of our guests is of top priority at Sentosa and Sentosa Development Corporation is working closely with Sky Tower Pte Ltd of the attraction and SCDF to render assistance where possible."
SDC said the cause of the fault is still under investigation and the Tiger Sky Tower will remain closed till further notice.
At 131m above sea level, the ride at Imbiah Road is the tallest observatory tower here, according to Sentosa's website.
The tower features an enclosed cabin with a capacity of 72 revolving slowly to the top, offering passengers 360-degree panoramic views of Singapore and tourist island Sentosa's famous beaches and attractions. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network