Hanoi skyscraper searching for cause of elevator free-fall, crunch

By Le Quan, Thanh Nien News

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Lee Chong Hee, the director in charge of electricity for Lotte Hanoi Center Lee Chong Hee, the director in charge of electricity for Lotte Hanoi Center
A representative of a Hanoi skyscraper told the press Friday that a technical error may have caused the building’s elevator to fall from the 63rd floor to 29th floor and injure two passengers.
Lee Chong Hee, the director in charge of electricity for the newly-opened 65-floor Lotte Center Hanoi, denied that the accident was caused by power problems.
At around 9pm on Thursday, five people leaving a party on the 65th floor of the building boarded a descending elevator. Soon after passing the 63rd floor, the elevator suddenly entered a free fall that stopped at the 29th floor.
When the elevator finally stopped, its doors opened. Two more passengers stepped on, but before they had fully boarded the elevator, the doors suddenly closed, inflicing injuries to their arms and shoulders.
The elevator did not move any further. The seven passengers attempted to call the emergency line to the building’s management to no avail.
They had to wait in the elevator in around 30 minutes until security guards appeared. The elevator then successfully descended to the ground floor.
According to Mr. Lee, the elevator was manufactured by Switzerland’s Schindler Group and had descended at a speed of 6 meters per second.
He said the building’s technical staff are checking the whole elevator system to identify the precise cause of the accident.
“We are very sorry for the incident and want to convey our sincerest apology to all customers,” he said.
Kim Myoung Gug, the project director of Lotte Center Hanoi, also apologized to the customers and promised that no similar incident would occur in the future.
The Lotte Center Hanoi, a complex of offices, shopping malls and hotels, opened on September 2.
It is the second-tallest building in Hanoi, after the Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower.

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