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Outpourings Of Grief For Victims Of Hotel Elevator Accident In Bali

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Communities across Bali are in mourning after the tragic loss of five local tourism workers who were killed in an elevator accident on Friday, 1st September.

The staff were in the hotel’s outdoor elevator when a cable snapped, plummeting the elevator to the ground.

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The tragedy took place at the Ayu Terra Resort in Kedewatan, Ubud. The elevator in question has long been something of a unique and Instagrammable experience at the hotel.

The outdoor elevator, sometimes referred to as a funicular, was designed to take both staff and guests from the upper levels of the hotel, higher on the ridge top, down the ravine edge to the resort facilities on the lower level. 

An investigation is now underway to discover how and why the elevator cable broke and why no secondary safety mechanisms prevented the elevator from falling all the way down the shaft. 

The tragedy claimed the lives of five of the hotel’s workers. Two of the staff died on the scene, while three more passed away in hospital. The victims of the tragedy were all young people embarking on their careers in the hospitality sector. 

The families of Sang Putu Bayu Adi Krisna (19), I Wayan Aries Setiawan (23), Ni Luh Supernigsih (20), Kadek Hardiyanti (24), and Kadek Yanti Pradewi (19), are being supported by police officers, and many have met with Bali’s Deputy Governor Cok Ace over the weekend.

Balinese Hindu ceremonies to cleanse the site where the incident took place have happened. Ngeplugin ceremonies were conducted later on Saturday, 2nd September, to release the spirits of those who died from the land.

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Now, police are investigating how this could have happened in the first place.

All guests who were staying at the Ayu Terra Resort have been relocated to an alternative accommodation while the investigation and mourning period is underway. 

Speaking to the media on Monday 4th September, Ubud Police Chief, Police Commissioner Made Uder, said that a serious and intense investigation is underway and that this tragedy will serve as a call to all hotels and businesses in Bali to revisit all health and safety protocols in place. 

PC Uder confirmed the details of the incident to reporters; he said, “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. As a result, the five elevator passengers died.”

The Deputy Governor of Bali, Cok Ace, who is also the Chair of the Hotel and Restaurant Association Bali, spoke with the media several times over the weekend. 

During the initial press conference on Saturday night, he explained, ‘Yes, I was at the Ayu Terra Resort earlier; the Bali Police were there, the police chief too, as well as several witnesses who knew of the incident. Earlier, when I was being interviewed there, I saw for myself the scene where the rope had broken.”

Cok Ace confirmed that he had personally reviewed the safety documents of the hotel during his visit to the scene but noted that the investigation will be coordinated by the Bali Police.

He continued, “This is the first time this has happened, and if we look at a glance, I saw the permits, especially regarding the use and safety of work, regarding the condition of the lift.”

“From a routine inspection, one independent consultant said that in November 2022 [it was fine], and it has only been 8 months since they stated that it is still [safe] so of course this will be included in the investigation.”

The tragedy has been met with outpourings of grief and anger across Bali as the island mourns the loss of five young people.

Local social justice advocate and highly regarded entrepreneur Ni Luh Djelantik has spoken online about the need for the incident to be a call for tourism businesses to prioritize health and life insurance for their workers as well as a serious investigation into the management and owners of the Ayu Terra Resort.  

Offerings at the Nyepi ceremony of Indonesian Hindus

The owner of the Ayu Terra Resort, Linggawati Utomo, has confirmed that her company will be covering all the expenses for the funerals of the five victims and additional compensation to support the families. 

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Wednesday 6th of September 2023

People come to Bali to leave bright lights, noise and high tech everything behind.

Be careful what you build.

Wayan Bo

Tuesday 5th of September 2023

R. I. P. - Jalan2 seems to be safer than such technical wonders.


Tuesday 5th of September 2023

A terrible accident. If some good is to be gained the stupid idea of building a similar lift at Kelingking will now be canned.


Wednesday 6th of September 2023

@Shorty, Roger that.


Tuesday 5th of September 2023

Just looking at cable car photos on google, 4 years ago 3 cables, 4 months ago 1, mmmmmm