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`Lift in Garuda Mall was overloaded'

Staff Reporter

There were 15 persons in the lift which has a capacity to carry only 13


If a lift malfunctions
  • Don't try to force open the doors
  • Use alarm/phone inside the lift
  • If emergency numbers are displayed, use them
  • Don't panic; wait for help to arrive

    BANGALORE: Personnel from the Karnataka Fire and Emergency Services, who on Monday inspected the lift in Garuda Mall which stalled trapping 15 shoppers, found that the lift has the capacity to carry only 13 persons or 780 kg.

    At around 8.30 p.m. on Sunday, the lift stalled between the ground and first floors, and 15 persons, including a family of 11, were trapped for 90 minutes.

    Although the emergency alarm was on, no one came to their assistance immediately. One person trapped inside called a relative and the fire service from a cellphone. Fire service personnel tried to disconnect power supply to the lift and manually operate it from the lift maintenance unit on the 8th floor.

    However, they had to break open the doors of the lift, in the face of protests from the mall managers, to rescue those trapped.

    The Inspector General and Additional Director (Fire and Emergency Services), M.N. Reddy, said: "The lift was obviously overloaded. Under safety norms of the National Building Code for lifts, the maximum weight for each type of lift is specified and a standby power generator is stipulated. There has to be a separate switch for grounding the lift in case of fire so that nobody can use it. The number of lifts to be made available in a large building is also specified. The lift in question has advanced technology from Germany, and what happened was a technical snag.'' There appears to have been no violation of safety norms, he added.

    The mall, a joint venture between the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and a private partner, was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, in April.

    Rajesh Kumar, a technician with a lift maintenance firm, said: "Usually, if a lift is overloaded, the alarm goes off. The doors won't close and you cannot operate the lift. If safety guidelines are followed, no accidents will occur.''

    Lift operators at the Garuda Mall and other shopping centres said that when there is overcrowding, they usually ask some persons to wait for the next lift. "But they don't always oblige," they said.

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