Fatal Accident Caught Between Lift Door

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Figure 1: Sketch of victim’s position caught between lift door

A fatal accident involving civilian due to caught between lift doors has occured in July 2013 at a public apartment. The accident occured when a group of students about 17 people (aged 11-17 years) and an adult are taking the lift from the ground floor to the top . The lift car has stopped at level 3 and both lift doors opened (car door and landing door) for 4 passanger to get off at this level . One of the passangers near the lift door was out of lift car and during the victim wants to get off, suddenly the lift car moves down quickly causing the victim who wants to get off get caught with half of his body between the lift well enclosure (landing door side) and the car door. This caused the lift car stalled between level 3 and 2 (refer Figure 1).

Investigation at machine room covers lift machine. Inspection on the brake founds that the brake linings were found thinned until about 4mm. The brake linings are 3 years old(lift was installed in 2010 and operates in the same year). Standard thickness of the liner is approximately 9mm. Generally life span of a brake lining is approximately 5-8 years(*).Thinning of brake liners may be influenced by several factors which are 1) due to continuous friction between brake liners and brake drum due to unproper adjustment and setting; and 2) frequent emergency brake occurance due to power disruptions etc.

The following are safety measures in place to prevent similar incident:

  1. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the lift is always regularly and maintained properly especially lift safety components such as brakes, limit switches, governor and others;
  2. Appointed firm to carry out maintenance should always monitor and inspect the maintenance and repair work carried out;
  3. Maintenance work performed on the lift shall comply with a recognized standard and code or manufacturer requirements;
  4. Maintenance firm supervisor should always evaluate the understanding of the technician on duty to ensure that work carried out is impeccable and complies with requirements of standard and code used;
  5. Full periodic inspection of lifts should be conducted at least once every 3 months by a competent person and ensure lift to be serviced and adjusted once a month. Any observations should be recorded in the lift register. This activity will help to determine whether the lift component works well or has suffered damage; and
  6. The public is advised not to go out of the lift in the event of any abnormality in the lift operation such as lift stopped at the undesignated floor; lift doors opened during lift is moving and others. Rescue work can only be carried out by BOMBA or other parties concerned.


  1. Lift Modernisation Design Guide, Roger E. Howkins *
  2. Akta Kilang dan Jentera 1967(Akta 139) & Peraturan-Peraturan, Kaedah-Kaedah dan Perintah
  3. Laporan Awal Kejuruteraan Forensik Kes Maut Tersepit Pintu Lif, Shaharudin Mohd Ali, Eza Marny Marzuki dan Shafiee Abdollah
  4. Analisa kegagalan brek elektromekanik di lif penumpang, Ir Dr Mohd Fairuz Ab Rahman

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