A lift system at a tourism area in the central city of Da Nang has been suspended after it abruptly stopped, trapping 19 passengers at the height of ten meters for nearly 30 minutes on Sunday.
The management board of the Ngu Hanh Son Tourism Area decided on Monday that the system with two lifts will be suspended until safe operation is guaranteed.
Le Quang Tuoi, chief of the management board, said during the repair, they would also learn more about the cause.
"If necessary, we will hire an independent agency to check, replace devices or put them under maintenance to guarantee safety."
According to the management board, since the 50-meter high lift system was put into operation on April 27, it has faced problems eight times, including three times when it abruptly stopped while carrying passengers from ground to the top of the Thuy Son Mountain.
A total of seven passengers were trapped in the two incidents on May 15 and May 16, but because they happened at low heights and with fewer passengers, people didn't panic while the management board handled it in time, they said.
However, in the latest incident, one of the lifts stopped at a great height in the witness of many people at ground, causing panic attacks. The ventilation system had problems as well, so two children of the trapped passengers fainted, according to the board.
They also said when the lift stopped, the other was also inoperative, so a technician had to run on the mountain for more than ten minutes and climbed a ten-meter high stair to reach a sub-operation system to restart the lifts.
It took him another ten minutes to return to open the lift with his key, but before he returned, other people already broke the door to release the passengers.
According to the board, only two technicians were trained to operate the system and they take turns in overlooking it, adding that each of them keeps one key to the lifts.
With the total investment of nearly VND17 billion (US$828,460) from the Da Nang Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, the system was designed by Da Nang's Institute of Planning with devices produced by Schindler Vietnam Co. Ltd.