18 People Got Stuck in Cable Car Without Air-Con & Fan for Over an Hour

If it isn’t scary enough that a person is being dangled in mid-air by cables attached to a metal and glass compartment, well, last night certainly upped the fear factor when the cable car suddenly stopped functioning.

According to Mr Ce, a reader of Shin Min Daily News, Mr Xu and his wife had climbed into their cable car at approximately 8pm at night to admire the night scenery, but neither of them could have anticipated that as they were journeying back to the Mount Faber station, the cable car would stop.

It was around 9:15pm on a Wednesday night (27 Jul) then.

When the Chinese newspaper reporters interviewed Mr Xu, he said that there was no fan or air-conditioning in the compartment. Hence, it was extremely stuffy inside.

They had to wait for nearly 30 minutes before the cable car returned to Mount Faber station, but they needed to wait for another 15 minutes before they could actually get off the steel trap.

Once the reporters received the information, they promptly rushed to Mount Faber Station, the place where people get on and alight from their cable cars.

They only saw the staff going in and out of the station. Quite a few cable cars had already been hauled back into the station, and most of the passengers had left.

Another couple that was interviewed mentioned that a round trip on the cable car takes around 35 minutes. When the cable car stopped at 9:15pm, both of them were alarmed.

Mr Zhang, a 42-year-old counsellor, stated that his girlfriend came down from Taipei for a vacation. It was her first time riding Singapore’s cable car but it unexpectedly malfunctioned.

At that time, the couple initially assumed that the cable car had “closed” and the staff had forgotten that they were still in the cable car.

Needless to say, they were frightened, but their worries were assuaged when they heard an announcement over the in-cabin intercom later.

The passengers were told that there was an operating system error which would be repaired as soon as possible, so please do not panic.

Mr Zhang also said that they were trapped inside the cable car for one hour and 15 minutes, give or take a few. While the repairs were ongoing, the cable car would abruptly jerk back and forth a few times.

He admits that he was slightly scared, which couldn’t be helped, considering the circumstances.

Mr Zhang and his girlfriend only managed to return to the station at 10:30pm.

It must have been an immense relief to be able to stand on solid ground again.

Since they were trapped in a small compartment for more than an hour, they kept conversing with each other to soothe their frazzled emotions.

(Can you imagine if an estranged couple—like say, Wang Leehom and Lee Jinglei—were trapped on the cable car together, with no choice but to settle their differences because there’s literally no where they could escape to? It sounds like a plot out of a romance novel, but it’s a hilarious thought.)

Based on the reporters’ observations, the staff members of Mount Faber station pulled down the shutters at 10:50pm that night. It’s believed that all the affected passengers had left.

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Mount Faber Leisure Group: All Passengers Alighted Safely

In response to media inquiries, Mount Faber Leisure Group—which is totally owned by Sentosa Development Corporation—said that all 18 stranded passengers got off safely in the end, with the last passenger alighting at 10:55pm.

At 9:14pm, the Singapore Cable Car, a gondola lift that stretches between Mountain Faber and Sentosa island, encountered an operational system error, which caused it to stop moving temporarily.

The servicemen immediately repaired the system. The cable car was eventually rebooted and resumed its operations at 9:47pm.

The spokesperson said, “We were in constant communication with the passengers via the in-cabin intercom and our service hotline. Regular updates were provided during the entire duration to ensure their safety and well-being.”

After the incident on Wednesday, the cable car service has since resumed normal operations on Thursday, after all the required safety checks were conducted.

It should be noted that there were no mechanical faults involved.

However, another married couple going by the surname of Chan feel that more could have been done to keep in touch with the trapped passengers.

Mrs Chan noted that she only heard two generic announcements throughout the whole ordeal, which made her and her husband wonder how long they would remain trapped and how severe the problem was.

She also remarked that it was stuffy inside the compartment but it was tolerable. Her main worry was how dark it was, though they were fortunate enough to have stopped near the station.

Owing to this bad experience, Mr Chan hopes they will get a refund, whereas Mrs Chan was more sympathetic.

After all, the cable car company’s business must have suffered due to the pandemic, so she was “willing to let it go”. It did damage her impression of Singapore’s tourist attractions though, as she had always assumed that they were well-maintained.

Hopefully, an incident like this won’t crop up again.

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Featured Image: Shutterstock / jayk67