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Tower Bridge accident – lift firm in court

A firm has been charged £100,000 in both fines and costs, after a number of people were left with broken legs and ankles when Tower Bridge lift fell several metres into a service pit due to vital mechanism failure.

What happened?

A lift car carrying tourists to the Tower Bridge Exhibition dropped three metres down the shaft after a counterweight mechanism failed. The car, carrying ten people including an elderly couple and a young family, ended up in a pit below the ground floor lift entrance.

Four passengers sustained bone fractures and the other six were treated for shock as walking wounded.
An investigation into the incident identified failures linked to the maintenance of two refurbished lifts at Tower Bridge.

The court heard that that there had been a number of historic component failures in the counterweight mechanism on two separate lifts at the attraction prior to the incident. However, these components had simply been replaced without a proper review and investigation to understand the issue.

What was the outcome?

Temple Lifts Ltd pleaded guilty to two charges of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 in costs.
HSE Inspector, Michael La Rose, said:

“This was a truly disturbing incident that affected a number of people
and that could have resulted in even greater injuries.

“It is vital that lifts are properly maintained, and that urgent action
is taken if any possible issues or concerns are identified. There
were warning signs here that were seemingly overlooked, and
missed opportunities to properly rectify recurring faults.

“Temple Lifts could and should have done more to ensure the lift was
properly maintained, and there were clear failings in this regard.”

If you have been affected by an accident such as this, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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