Many others were luckier as they survived a kind of ‘terrorism’ when elevators suddenly stopped running and got stuck halfway.
A fact is that these hazards have become more common recently, especially in major cities where there are many highrise apartment buildings.
In September last year, an elevator of the building CT3 in Yen Hoa Ward of Hanoi’s Cau Giay District fell from the fourth floor to the ground, killing one inside. Ten days before in a karaoke restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 10, a technician had been crushed and beheaded by a falling elevator that he was checking for maintenance.
In 2010 in Quang Vinh Hotel in the central city of Nha Trang, an elevator fell down from the seventh floor, breaking the leg of a foreign tourist inside. In 2009 in Ho Chi Minh City, 13 party attendants were badly hurt by a falling elevator inside the An Lac high building in Binh Tan District.
In recent months, residents of the new apartment building Hoa Hiep 2 in Lien Chieu District in the central city of Da Nang have kept on complaining about their poor-quality elevators as the machines regularly have problems like getting stuck halfway and shaking. Many people were locked inside for hours before the problems were solved.
Ironically, residents have to pay a steady sum monthly for the maintenance of these machines.
The problems result in some residents choosing to walk down the stairs for safety.
A resident named Nguyen Huy Tam of the Vuong Hai apartment building in district 12 in HCMC admitted, “The elevators have problems every two or three days. I was confined in it a dozen times.”
Similar troubles happened to other apartment buildings as Gia Phu in Binh Tan District and Mieu Noi in Binh Thanh District in HCMC.
Most of the faulty elevators have cheap machine parts manufactured in China, said Hoang Thanh Dien, a marketing officer of Hung Phu company majoring in elevators.
Such a low-quality elevator for a 7-8 floor building is sold at only VND350 million (US$16,800) including installment costs – a third of the price of qualified one, Dien admitted.