In light of the recent elevator tragedy at Ayu Terra Resort in Ubud, hotels in the area are being ordered to revise their health and safety strategy.
On Friday 1st September an elevator carrying five staff members from the Ayu Terra Resort plummeted down the lift shaft after the cables snapped and brake mechanisms failed. All five members of staff lost their lives in the tragedy.
The events surrounding the Ayu Terra Resort disaster have shaken local communities, businesses, and the government alike.
The incident has also got concerned tourists raising questions about the health and safety mechanisms in place on the island.
As the investigation into the tragedy continues both police and political leaders have ordered resorts in the Ubud area to revisit their health and safety strategies, especially if the property is located on the side of one of the many ridges and ravines that make Ubud so famous.
Speaking to reporters in the wake of the elevator disaster, Ubud Police Chief, Police Commissioner I Made Uder, explained “There are many accommodations in Ubud near cliffs. In the future, plan the hotel’s obligation to create a disaster evacuation plan. During the evacuation at Ayu Terra, it was a bit difficult for us.”
He continued to explain that he hopes the long-term outcome of the tragedy is that business owners and tourism stakeholders will work with qualified experts to ensure that appropriate regulations are in place to keep tourists and staff safe.
He added “This [essential] regulation will ensure that tourists are comfortable and safe in Ubud. We have visited tourist accommodation in Ubud. “We want to ensure that all lifts are well maintained.”
Hotels, resorts, and private villas in the Ubud area that have elevators have been ordered to present health and safety paperwork to the authorities.
Speaking last week PC Uder said “We will summon all accommodation management that has lifts to the Sector Police. We ask for maintenance documents. “This is our basis that if there is negligence we can take firm action.”
During another press conference last week PC Uder said “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.”
Speaking in his final days as the Deputy Governor of Bali before the election campaigns begin and the Acting Governor came into office, Cok Ace reiterated that hotels and resorts in Ubud and across the island must revisit health and safety protocols.
He said that there are strict protocols in place for hotels and resorts that are members of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI Bali), of which the Ayu Terra Resort was not a member.
Cok Ace also wants to see updates to legislation to ensure that smaller, boutique resorts like Ayu Terra must meet the same safety criteria as bigger starred resorts.
Cok Ace said, “we have proposed that hotels in Bali, three [to] five stars, let the Bali Police and the PHRI work together to look at the security side, then below the districted and cities [enforce the laws] because they know the conduits on the ground.”
The Deputy Governor also wants to see more regular checking of safety equipment in the hotel sector.
Paperwork has shown that the elevator at the Ayu Terra Resort was last signed off as safe in November 2022 and was not due another check for some time, however, there are several mitigating circumstances that many feel mean safety equipment should be checked more regularly.
Cok Ace said, “even if the schedule says [equipment] does not need to be tested again, earthquake and so on can affect the quality of the equipment we use at any time, so we [must] check again so that incidents like this don’t happen again.”
Statements issued by Bali Police reveal the findings of the initial investigation at the Ayu Terra Resort.
Gianyar Police Chief AKBP Ketut Widiada told reporters that according to technicians who have been questioned by the police, the cables should have been able to lift the weight of the five victims of the deadly incident.
‘The results of checking at the crime scene were that in 2019, the strength of the sling rope was three, and after it was repaired in March 2023 it became one. The technician said that the strength of the three, sling ropes (capable of lifting a load) was around 400 kilograms.”
“So for three, it’s around 1.2 tons. So the one being replaced now, according to information from the technician, has a strength of 1.8 tons.”
“According to their regulations, if it has shrunk by 10 percent it must be replaced. It is possible that these three have experienced a shrinkage of 10 percent so they have been replaced with this one with a strength of 1.8 tonnes,” he said.
“We don’t have the courage or can’t yet determine who is most responsible. We need a criminalistics test from the Denpasar Branch of the National Police.”
“The Denpasar branch of the National Police has not yet sent the results to the Gianyar Police, so we currently cannot provide information on who is most responsible in this case,” he concluded.
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