Tragic lift cable accident claims 5 lives at Ubud resort

The ill-fated Ayuterra Resort’s lift. Photo: Screengrab from TikTok user @sonyasoso7).
The ill-fated Ayuterra Resort’s lift. Photo: Screengrab from TikTok user @sonyasoso7).

A tragic incident involving a lift cable has resulted in the loss of five lives in Ubud over the weekend. The victims, all employees of a resort in Kedewatan Village, met their untimely demise when the lift cable snapped.

The incident unfolded on Friday at approximately 1pm, as five employees from Ayuterra Resort were using an outdoor lift with a rail track. The lift’s operation reportedly relied on a cable system pulled by a machine, and the victims were inside the lift compartment when the tragedy occurred.

I Ketut Suwiarta, an employee at the resort, said he heard shouts and a loud crash the moment the tragedy occurred. After he ran to the upper landing, to his horror, the lift, which typically transported employees and resort guests, had disappeared from view and had crashed below.

Authorities believe that the steel cable, responsible for lifting the elevator, snapped when the lift was nearing the final stage of its ascent. Initial suspicions point to possible issues with the lift’s brakes or stoppers, causing it to rapidly descend. 

Two individuals lost their lives on the spot, while three others succumbed to their injuries in the hospital.

I Gusti Ngurah Dibya Presasta, Head of Emergency and Logistics at the Gianyar Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), confirmed that an evacuation operation was swiftly executed in collaboration with the fire department and the Indonesian Red Cross, aided by a combined team from the police. 

All five victims were promptly transported to Payangan Hospital and Ari Canti Ubud.

The victims have been identified as follows:

  1. Sang Putu Bayu Adi Krisna (19), from Kedewatan Village, Gianyar
  2. I Wayan Aries Setiawan (23), from Lodtunduh Village, Gianyar
  3. Ni Luh Supernigsih (20), from Melinggih Kelod Village, Gianyar
  4. Kadek Hardiyanti (24), from Taman Bali Village, Bangli
  5. Kadek Yanti Pradewi (19), from Munduk Village, Buleleng. 

Authorities are conducting a comprehensive investigation into the incident, and experts will provide critical insights to determine the cause of the lift cable failure. Witnesses have been interviewed, and their statements will be combined with expert opinions and forensic findings.

“We are not making assumptions but conducting a scientific investigation, a comprehensive investigation, and after this, the Bali Police Forensic Laboratory will return to conduct another crime scene investigation,” said Ario Seno Wimoko, Head of the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Gianyar Police.

The lift in question featured a 65-meter rail with a hanging sling cable for safety, and the incline of the lift track was approximately 60 degrees. Authorities are also looking into potential criminal actions and negligence related to the incident as part of their ongoing investigation.

Bali Vice Governor Tjokorda Artha Ardana Sukawati visited the tragic scene on Saturday and called all parties to wait until the authorities concluded their investigation.

The official firmly added, however, that sanctions await should authorities rule negligence to be a cause of the incident

The Ayuterra Resort owner, Linggawati Utomo, separately expressed that her company would cover all expenses regarding the victims’ traditional funerals (ngaben), in addition to other compensation to the families. 

The resort itself is reportedly closed down pending investigation and guests have been told to find other accommodations.

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