Bombshell claim after five die in Balinese resort lift

Bombshell claim after five die in Balinese resort lift

A technician has claimed the owner of a Balinese resort where five workers died in a lift requested it only operate using one cable instead of multiple, according to local media.

An outdoor inclined elevator carrying the workers at Ayuterra Resort in the popular tourist town of Ubud plunged down a ravine after a cable snapped on Friday.

Two men and three women tragically died: Sang Putu Bayu Adi Krisna, 19, Kadek Yanti Pradewi, 19, Ni Luh Supernigsih, 20, I Wayan Aries Setiawan, 23, and Kadek Hardiyanti, 24.

Gianyar Police Chief, AKBP Ketut Widiada, said the lift at the resort was seen using more than one sling rope in 2019 but at the time of the deadly incident there was only one, reports local new outlet detikBali.

He said according to a lift technician, the owner requested the lift not use too many ropes and therefore installed only one at his request.

But a lawyer for the resort, Nyoman Wirajaya, denied the allegations to the outlet.

“There was no such request.” Mr Wirajaya told detikBali, according to an English translation.

He claimed his client actually requested that the lift load capacity be increased.

Mr Widiada, the Gianyar Police Chief, stressed the investigation was still being carried out, which includes looking into why there was no emergency brake.

The lift tech’s bombshell allegation comes as officials in Bali assure tourists they should not be afraid to visit its resorts, promising they are taking action to “guarantee” all lifts are safe to use.

The head of Ubud Police, PC Uder, told reporters all accommodation management with elevators in the town would be called into police stations to show their maintenance documents in person.

“This will carried out in Bali, because of the orders of the Bali Police Chief, with the aim of preventing tourists from being afraid to come to Bali,” he said, according to local English news outlet The Bali Sun.

“We want tourists to Bali to only think about having fun without thinking about safety. Because of that, we as officials will guarantee that all facilities in Bali are safe to use.”

The Bali Tourism Board is also said to be assigning teams to check the safety protocols in place for resorts with elevators or rail-based lifts.

Bali’s deputy governor Cok Ace told media: “This is the first time this has happened.”

He said documents showed an inspection had been carried out in November last year stating the lift was safe and those details would form part of the investigation.

Video footage shared widely on social media showed the employees getting into the elevator before it began travelling up the incline, and seconds later it rapidly slid down the track.

Subsequent video shows the carriage crashing through the ceiling of a lower level.

Families given compensation, on condition

According to local media, families have been given between IDR158.2m ($16,308) and IDR166.1m ($17,122) from social security program BPJS Ketenagakerjaan, and about IDR 40m ($4112) from the resort owners to cover cremation rituals and on compassionate grounds.

However, the added support from Ayuterra Resort meant families would not be able to launch legal action against the company.

The uncle of Mr Hardiyanti, Nyoman Suarila told local publication Kumparan, that he accepted the terms.

“Even if we sue, our children will not return,” he said.

“But we believe in karma. If the company is wrong, then it will get it. That’s our principle.

“If the incident that caused my nephew’s death was the fault of a technician or something, it must be processed according to applicable law.”

Resort owner, Linggawati Utomo offered condolences to the families of the victims.

“All costs for funeral rites and burial will be borne by us. We will also give the families some compensation,” she said.

A legal representative for Ayuterra Resort, I Nyoman Wirajaya confirmed the families had accepted the terms.

– with Jessica Wang, NCA Newswire