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Bali Lift Accident: Investigation Reveals Contractors and Owner as Suspects

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On Friday, September 1, 2023, a tragic Bali lift accident occurred at the Ayuterra Resort in Ubud, Bali, when a glass-encased lift plunged into a ravine, killing five hotel workers. The lift was a cable-operated elevator that ran on a track up a steep slope, connecting the upper and lower sections of the resort. The police are investigating the cause of the accident and whether there was any negligence or lack of maintenance involved, specifically focusing on the Bali lift accident or Ubud lift accident. Here are some facts and updates about the incident that you should know:

Bali Lift Accident: Investigation Reveals Contractors and Owner as Suspects
Bali Lift Accident: Investigation Reveals Contractors and Owner as Suspects 4

Latest Update: Suspect in Bali Lift Accident Placed Under House Arrest Due to Mental Health Issues

Ayuterra Resort owner, Vincent Juwono (68), a suspect in the Ayuterra Resort elevator collapse case in Ubud, Bali, is now under house arrest due to mental health issues. The prosecutor stated that Vincent requires psychiatric treatment. His case has been transferred from the Gianyar Police to the Gianyar State Attorney’s Office.

House arrest, implemented since January 31, 2024, involves electronic monitoring by the prosecutor. Vincent, facing charges related to the elevator incident that killed five Ayuterra employees, is not held in a detention center due to his mental condition. He is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and needs regular psychiatric treatment.

The symptoms include flashbacks, avoidance of related topics, nightmares, increased sensitivity, and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Despite his mental health struggles, Vincent remains legally processed. The prosecutor is preparing the indictment for a swift trial, aligning with another suspect, Mujiana, previously detained since December 14, 2023.

The elevator tragedy at Ayuterra Resort Ubud occurred on September 1, 2023, resulting in the death of five employees. The suspects include Mujiana, the elevator contractor, and Vincent Juwono, the resort owner and director. Vincent, citing mental health issues, delayed his joint transfer with Mujiana in December 2023.

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The Victims of Ubud Lift Accident

The five victims of the Ubud lift accident were all employees of the resort’s housekeeping department. They have been identified as:

  • Sang Putu Bayu Adi Krisna, 19
  • Wayan Aries Setiawan, 23
  • Ni Luh Superningsih, 20
  • Kadek Hardiyanti, 24
  • Kadek Yanti Pradewi, 19

Two of them died at the scene and three died later in hospital. The resort owner has offered to cover the funeral costs and compensation for the victims’ families, but the payout of about $4,000 each is on the condition they will not take legal action against the resort.

The Cause of Bali Lift Accident

The police have launched an investigation into the Bali lift incident and have collected evidence from the scene, including the lift’s brake wheel, a section of the broken metal sling, a safety plate listing the lift’s specifications, and surveillance camera footage. The police suspect that the main reason for the accident was the reduction in the number of sling ropes supporting the elevator. In 2019, the lift was filmed operating with the use of three sling ropes, but was operating with the use of a single rope at the time of the accident.

The police also found that the lift’s brakes did not work, which should have brought the lift to a complete stop in case of a cable failure. The police are looking into why the brakes did not work and whether the owner or the technicians were responsible for removing the two sling ropes.

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The Involvement of Contractors and Owner

Bali Lift Accident: Investigation Reveals Contractors and Owner as Suspects
Bali Lift Accident: Investigation Reveals Contractors and Owner as Suspects 5

Recent developments in the investigation have led the Gianyar Police to designate two suspects in the Ayuterra Resort lift tragedy. Mujiono, identified as the contractor, and Vincent Juwono, both the owner and manager of Ayu Terra Resort, are now facing potential five-year prison sentences.

Widiada explained that Mujiono, the contractor, was not registered with the Ministry of Manpower (Kemenaker) as a Workplace Health and Safety (K3) expert for elevators and escalators. He constructed the lift in violation of regulations.

Vincent, as the owner, was involved in the design of the inclinator at Ayu Terra Resort. He approved the replacement of three sling ropes with a single one, violating K3 regulations.

The Owner Hasn’t Been Detained

The owner of the Ayuterra Resort, Vincent Juwono, claimed to have a mental illness and refused to be hospitalized at the RSJ Bali. He also has not been detained by the police for his involvement in the lift accident that killed five hotel workers. The police are still investigating the case and questioning the authenticity of his medical certificate.

Recent reports suggest that Vincent Juwono, the owner of Ayuterra Resort, is allegedly experiencing mental health issues. Consequently, the case of the severed sling rope at the resort has not been transferred from Gianyar Police to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Regarding Vincent’s mental health issues, Dr. Dewa Gde Basudewa, the Director of the Provincial Mental Hospital (RSJ) Bali, mentioned that Vincent and his family visited the Emergency Room (IGD) of RSJ on December 29, 2023, around 11:17 AM.

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Dr. Basudewa stated that they have no information since Vincent declined any examination.

Furthermore, as the patient refused examination, a standard procedure involves obtaining a statement declaring the patient’s refusal to follow the doctor’s recommendations.

When asked if RSJ Bali informed Gianyar Police about the patient’s refusal, Basudewa stated that they do not have the authority to report to the police because Vincent came for treatment with his family.

The Safety

The lift was initially installed in 2019 and had undergone a routine safety inspection in November 2022. The deputy governor of Bali, Cok Ace, said he had seen a permit showing that the lift had been declared safe as part of the inspection. However, the police are questioning the validity of the permit and the quality of the inspection, as the lift did not have an emergency brake and was operating with only one sling rope. The police are also checking whether the resort had complied with the safety regulations and standards for operating the lift.

The Impact

Bali Lift Accident: Investigation Reveals Contractors and Owner as Suspects
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The accident has shocked and saddened the local community and the tourism industry in Bali. The Ubud Tourism Board has expressed its condolences to the victims’ families and said it would cooperate with the authorities to ensure the safety of tourists and workers in the area. The Balinese authorities have also reassured tourists that they are safe to travel to the island and that the accident was an isolated incident. The resort has temporarily closed its operations and moved its guests to alternative accommodation while the investigation is under way. The resort has not issued any official statement or apology for the accident.

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