An elevator inside Chicago’s former Hancock building dropped 84 floors with six terrified passengers inside. Rescuers arrived shortly after the fall early Friday morning and it took three hours to rescue the victims, who were trapped with no food or water.
Six people including a pregnant woman, got into the elevator early Friday after leaving a restaurant on the 95th floor of the Michigan Avenue building, formerly known as the John Hancock Center, They heard noises and experienced a faster and bumpier ride than expected. One of several cables holding the elevator broke, and the car felt rapidly, landing near the 11th floor.
“We were going down and a sudden clack clack clack noise occurred, I knew something wasn’t okay and then I felt that we were falling down. Jamie Montemayor, who was visiting the great city of Chicago from Mexico City, said, he and his wife began to pray and held each other tightly.”I believed we were going to die”.
Fire fighters arrived for rescue, they broke through a wall more than 10 stories above a parking garage to reach the trapped passengers. People inside were pulled to safety, leaving cables hanging next to the elevator’s cracked door. The whole process took three hours.
One passenger, who was not identified, was treated for anxiety after the harrowing ordeal but other than that no one was seriously injured during the malfunction.
Chicago Battalion Fire Chief Patrick Maloney told, “It was a precarious situation where the cables that were broke were on top of the elevator and we couldn’t do an elevator-to-elevator rescue. We had to breach a wall on the 11th floor of the parking garage in order to open up the elevator doors.”
Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford told the Chicago Tribune, “There was only one other way possible to get to the elevator would have been ropes from the 97th floor, and that would not be safe”
The elevator was in a “blind shaft.” There were no doors through which fire fighters could enter to rescue people
The fire fighters busted through the brick wall of the parking garage, creating a 5-by-5-foot hole through which they could see the top half of the elevator.
The malfunction had been caused by a failed “hoist rope,” or elevator cable, a City Buildings Department official told.
The elevator will remain closed until the appropriate repairs are made. The elevator was last inspected for safety in July, the station reported, one of the city’s 22,000 elevators annually reviewed.