SINGAPORE – Some shoppers and diners at Raffles City had to abandon their plans for the evening when the mall was hit by a two-hour blackout on Monday evening (Jan 13).
The mall said in a Facebook post at 8.14pm that it was alerted to the "partial power outage" at about 8pm, and was working to restore supply. It apologised to shoppers for the inconvenience.
A spokesman at electricity supplier SP Group said it understood that there was an electricity supply interruption at parts of Raffles City.
“Our network is in order. We have reached out to Raffles City to offer assistance,” the spokesman added.
Shoppers were seen leaving the mall, which was still shrouded in darkness at 9.20pm when reporters arrived. A few sections in the basement level were partially lit by backup lights.
Mall security officers, who were stationed at the entrance to guide shoppers, told reporters that the blackout was due to a power trip and should be “back on in one hour or so” as the mall is working at restoring power.
Mr John Lee, 23, a part-time waiter at Da Paolo Gastronomia, said customers and staff in the restaurant stayed calm when the power went out. All of the equipment, including fridges and cashier machine, was down.
“People went ‘woo’ when the lights went out suddenly but everyone just went on as normal,” he said.
After it became clear that the mall was not going to get power back soon, customers who had paid but have yet to receive their food were asked to come back another day with their receipt for their meal or get a refund. The staff said they were preparing to close for the day.
Shopper Alvin Ng, 34, told reporters he was walking with his wife in the basement of the mall when the blackout hit.
He said: “The lights suddenly went off but the backup generators soon kicked in and the common areas were lit up. People began to stream out and the process was quite orderly.
“Shop assistants stood in front of their shops to direct traffic - but maybe also to prevent shoplifting. It was all quite calm.”
The Cookie Museum sales assistant Kendrick Ho, 23, said: “I was serving a customer when it happened, and I was a little stunned. The escalators were down, the cash register was down. But the Chinese New Year music continued playing though.”
Some shoppers were taken aback by the sudden power outage.
Banking associate Ms Lim, 37, who declined to give her full name, was midway through dinner with a friend at Sushi Tei when the lights went out.
She said: “All of our food had arrived so we just continued eating in the dark, thinking that the lights will come back on soon. But when we finished our meal in 30 minutes, they were still not back on and it got quite uncomfortable in the dark so we left.”
Social media was abuzz with regard to the outage, with some people saying that they were forced to leave midway through their meals.
Facebook user Muthu Suresh Mike said he did not hear any public announcement so he waited for 15 minutes in the dark before leaving.
Raffles City said in a Facebook post that power was restored progressively from about 9.30pm, and it closed for the day at about 9.40pm while working on restoring the power supply in full.
Lights in the mall came back on at about 10.10pm.