Thailand probe after passengers trapped in BTS lift for an hour

Picture courtesy of KhaoSod

Following a distressing incident where passengers were trapped in a lift at a BTS station for over an hour, Thailand’s Deputy Transport Minister, Surapong Piyachote, has ordered an immediate investigation into the malfunction.

The incident took place yesterday between the ticketing floor and the street level, heading towards Kheha station on the BTS Skytrain’s Sukhumvit and Silom lines.

Surapong instructed the Department of Rail Transport’s Director-General, Pichet Kunathammarak, to coordinate with the Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited (BTSC), the operator of the BTS Skytrain, to promptly establish the cause of the failure. The incident, which occurred at approximately 5.20pm, involved one male and two female passengers who were unable to open the lift doors. The passengers were successfully rescued at 6.19pm.

CCTV footage confirmed that the passengers were stuck for an hour, after which they received initial medical attention. The lift was subsequently taken out of service for inspection and repair, which was carried out by Kone, the company responsible for the lift’s maintenance.

The lift had been regularly serviced and maintained according to schedule, and efforts were underway to determine any technical defects and further details.

The Department of Rail Transport (DRT) emphasised the need for stricter supervision of service providers, regular training for BTS station staff, and frequent emergency drills to ensure prompt action in such situations.

There was also an increase in the number of ready-to-respond staff at different points and a call for improved collaboration among related agencies for faster resolution of incidents. Additionally, BTSC was instructed to expedite compensation and remediation for the three affected passengers according to relevant regulations.

Pichet reported that the BTS station at Bearing (E14) on the Sukhumvit Line alerted the authorities at 5.21pm about the trapped passengers. Kone technicians were immediately contacted to assist, and by 6.19pm, they had successfully rescued the passengers at street level. Following the incident, the lift was closed for investigation and repair before being reopened for normal service.

Pichet also mentioned that, in the wake of the incident, the Deputy Transport Minister expressed his regrets and assured that the DRT would conduct a thorough investigation. The incident has prompted the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), as the project owner, and BTSC, as the BTS operator, to enhance staff training and emergency response drills, reported KhaoSod.

Lift malfunction

They are also coordinating with Kone to increase the number of preparedness points, enabling faster travel to stations if needed. BTSC is expected to follow through with compensation for the trapped passengers, and the BMA has been tasked with proposing preventive measures to avoid similar issues in the future.

Thailand NewsTransport News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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