Five young hotel workers have died after a steel lift cable snapped at a Bali resort and plunged them 100 metres down a steep embankment.
The two men and three women were working in the housekeeping department at Ayuterra Resort in the Ubud district when they got into an Instagram-famous glass lift, which runs on a track up a 35-degree slope, at 1pm on Friday.
The workers were identified as Ni Luh Superningsih, 20, Kadek Hardiyanti, 24, Kadek Yanti Pradewi, 19, Sang Putu Bayu Adi Krisna, 19, and Wayan Aries Setiawan, 23.
Outrage has erupted, with the families paid just over $4,000 in compensation from their employers, on the condition they will not launch legal action against the resort.
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 means families would not be able to launch legal action against the company.
Five hotel works have tragically died after a steel lift cable snapped at a Bali resort
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.’
Two of the staff died at the scene while the remaining three were alive and transported to hospital, but died shortly after.
A cook at the hotel, Ketut Suwiarta, told local media he heard screams shortly after the group entered the lift and then crashing sounds.
He rushed outside to help the victims and alerted authorities.
The glass-walled lift runs on a track up a steep embankment between the resorts ground level facilities and accommodation up on the ridge
The elevator runs on a track and transports both tourists and workers between the upper sections of the hotel high up on the ridge and the resort facilities at ground level.
It is understood the elevator was a popular Instagram attraction at the resort, offering views over the surrounding landscape.
Police are investigating why the cable broke, whether adequate safety maintenance had been done, and why there were no backup measures in case the cable broke.
The families met with Bali’s deputy governor, Cok Ace, over the weekend as Balinese Hindu ceremonies were held to cleanse the site and wish the victims well.
‘I was at the resort earlier; the Bali Police were there, the police chief too, as well as several witnesses who knew of the incident,’ he said.
‘Earlier, when I was being interviewed there, I saw for myself the scene where the rope had broken.’
All guests at the resort have been relocated to other accommodation while the investigation is underway.
Police are investigating why the cable snapped and authorities said it was a wake up call to hotels and businesses on the island (pictured paramedics at the scene)
A photo of the elevator before the tragic accident
Resort owner Linggawati Utomo expressed her sympathies to the victims’ families.
Ubud Police Chief, Police Commissioner Made Uder said on Monday the tragedy would serve as a wake up call to all hotels and businesses on the holiday island.
‘The steel swing rope was not strong enough to pull the weight upwards, which was quite heavy, and the safety wedge or brake did not function, so the elevator slid downwards at high speed so this accident could not be avoided,’ he said.
The lift was reportedly inspected by an independent consultant as recently as November 2022 who said it was in operating condition.
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