I won’t blame you if you’ve not heard of the Tiger Sky Tower until yesterday: being one of the attractions in Sentosa, it’s not a place that we Singaporeans make it a point to visit.
But of course, since yesterday, more Singaporeans would know about it, with breaking news of it being stranded in mid-air for four hours.
Lest you’ve missed the news yesterday, here are ten facts you might want to know.
What is the Tiger Sky Tower?
Okay, while many of you might not have heard of the attraction, we do know about it since a while back, and even wrote about it last year, naming it as a “hidden place”.
The Tiger Sky Tower isn’t exactly a ride, but a tower that gives you a look at the skyline of Singapore through its observation tower. Think of it as a Singapore Flyer that doesn’t move in a circle, but in a line.
It stands at 110 m, which is lower than Singapore Flyer’s 165 m, but the price is also relatively lower, at $18 for an adult, compared to Singapore Flyer’s $33.
And just so you know, the “Tiger” in its name really refers to the Tiger Beer that we’re familiar with; prior to 2008, it was called the Carlsberg Sky Tower for obvious reasons.
Yesterday (12 August 2017), at 5:35 p.m., when the gondola (think of it as the “capsule” in Singapore Flyer) was at 25 m in the air, which is about eight storeys high, it stopped moving.
In the gondola were 39 people, with 1 of them being the staff member. Most of the 38 guests were tourists. The gondola can technically hold up to 72 people.
Why did it happen?
Even as of now, no one knows the reason for this malfunction. BCA engineers and Tiger Sky Tower are now investigating the cause.
According to Tiger Sky Tower, the tower had been maintained the day before, and they have a “very strict maintenance regime.”
What’s inside the gondola?
It’s air-conditioned with a mobile toilet. However, once the guests left the gondola, they allegedly rushed to the toilet immediately. Guess one toilet won’t be enough for 39 people who are stuck for four hours.
During this period, the guests were also given food and drinks.
What are the risks?
The first thought that comes to many would be this: would it plunge to the ground? Sky Tower director told the media that that would not have happened as it has “failsafes similar to elevators”, which is why the guests weren’t being rescued from the gondola immediately.
What happened since it got stranded?
The SCDF wasn’t called in immediately; fifteen minutes after the gondola stopped working, Sentosa rangers, the “police” in Sentosa, were roped in to assist in lowering the gondola to ground level.
It was only at 7:10 p.m., about 1 hour plus later, that the SCDF was called in to help. The elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Dart) climbed to the top of the tower and rappelled down to the gonola. Four of them got into the capsule.
Not sure about you, but the sight of these officers rappelling from the top into the capsule might have been so cool, it was almost like a scene from a movie.
According to Tiger Sky Tower, the SOP was to rectify the situation with the Sentosa rangers first, and to call in the SCDF only after an hour should they can’t solve the problem.
Has this happened before?
As a matter of fact, yes. In 2010, the Tiger Sky Tower was stranded twice in less than two months: once in June and once in July.
Just so you know, the Singapore Flyer was stranded four times before, with a total of three times in 2008 alone.
In all incidents, there were no injuries.
How did the whole incident end?
The goal was to lower the gondola down to ground level, in which workers had to manually winch it down, with a 5 m drop each time. They opted for this option instead of getting the guests to evacuate the gondola was that since the guests were “totally and absolutely safe“, that was allegedly a better option.
The SCDF was, however, on stand-by for any rescue operations, with their officers at the top of the tower, below and inside the capsule.
At around 9:45 p.m., the godola landed on the ground. No one was injured.
How are the Guests?
As mentioned, some of them rushed to the toilet the moment they were “rescued”. The attraction would be refunding the cost of the ride and compensating the guests, and those who missed a flight due to the incident would be provided with hotel accommodation.
The ride is now suspended, with BCA issuing a closure order. Engineers from BCA would also be investigating the incident.
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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Featured Image: YouTube (Straits Times)