A 77-year-old Singaporean man died in a freak lift accident in Pasir Ris on Monday. The victim fell backwards and injured his head after his motorised scooter hit a lift that had stopped about 15cm above the ground.

The incident happened at Block 247, Pasir Ris Street 21, at about 10.20am. Shin Min Daily News, a Chinese newspaper, reported that Lim Hang Chiang exited backwards on his motorised scooter and was trying to reverse, resulting in the mishap.

The evening daily also reported that there were two other people in the lift when the accident happened.

One of the passengers, who gave his name as Ashvin, said they were at the back of the lift when the door opened at the ground floor. Lim reversed out and fell off his device. He said: "We were shocked and found out only when we stepped out that the lift was not level with the ground but you couldn't tell from the inside."

Lim's son, Keng Swee, told Today that Lim Hang Chiang was still conscious after the incident but went into a coma shortly after he was taken to the Changi General Hospital. The doctors said he had bleeding in his skull and could not be operated on without leaving him in a permanent coma. Lim died at 2.20 am on Monday.

Lim's daughter-in-law, Wang Ying, said he had gone downstairs for breakfast when the incident happened. "When I went downstairs, neighbours had helped him to one side and pulled the mobility scooter out," she added.

The residents of that particular block said they noticed about two to three months back that the lift doors would open even though the lift car was not level with the ground.

When enquired, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said the lift has been suspended from use and the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council has been instructed to appoint an authorised examiner to carry out a thorough inspection.