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Straco Corp's Singapore Flyer suspends operations again after technical glitch

SingaporeFlyerSTfile.jpg
The Flyer will work closely with the Building and Construction Authority before the ride is open to the public.

[SINGAPORE] The Singapore Flyer has suspended operations since Nov 19 after a technical issue involving one of the spoke cables.

Mainboard-listed Straco Corporation operates the Flyer, along with other tourism attractions such as Underwater World Xiamen and Shanghai Ocean Aquarium.

In a statement announcing the suspension on Tuesday evening, a spokesman for the Flyer said that the move was a precautionary measure while the Flyer undergoes inspection, repairs and rectification works.

The technical issue occurred around 9.40am on Nov 19, and all 39 customers on the Flyer were evacuated.

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"We are working around the clock together with a specialist professional engineer to fix the issue," said the spokesman.

The spokesman said the Flyer will be working closely with the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), which regulates the safety of public amusement rides, before the ride is open to the public.

Affected customers with prior bookings can get in touch with the Flyer's customer service team on 6333-3311. The public can also receive updates on the Flyer's website, Facebook page and WeChat account.

"We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to our guests and business partners," its spokesman said.

It is unclear when the Flyer will reopen to the public.

The BCA told ST that it was alerted to the technical issue on Nov 19.

"In the interest of public safety, BCA suspended the operations of the Singapore Flyer on the same day and instructed the ride operator to appoint a specialised professional engineer to investigate and propose appropriate rectification works."

The ride will remain closed until the investigation is complete and the operator has carried out the necessary rectification works recommended by the specialised professional engineer to the satisfaction of BCA.

This is not the first time that the Flyer has suffered a breakdown.

Operations were suspended in January 2018 for two months due to a "technical issue". This weighed on Straco Corp's full-year earnings, which fell 12.4 per cent to S$41.8 million for FY2018.

On Dec 23, 2008, a fire broke out in the wheel control room, causing 173 passengers to be trapped for about six hours.

In July 2010, the ride was also shut down and more than 200 passengers were evacuated after lightning struck one of its electrical cables that supplied power to the air-conditioning systems.

The Flyer, which is 165m tall and has a diameter of 150m, was officially launched in 2008.

Straco Corp's 90 per cent-owned subsidiary Straco Leisure bought the Flyer for S$140 million in 2014, more than a year after the iconic ferris wheel had gone into receivership.

THE STRAITS TIMES