Elevators have been around for quite some time. In fact, according to Wikipedia, they’ve been in operation since 236 BC. Sure, that elevator probably wasn’t a safe & smooth ride like today’s modern elevators, most of which can literally lift you from the first floor of a building to 50 stories in a matter of only a few seconds.
Fortunately, technological advancements are making elevators safer than ever, but there was a time when elevator horror stories were quite common. Here’s a look at five elevator mishaps — most of which could have most likely been avoided with proper installation and maintenance.
Stuck in an Elevator
In October of 1999, Nicholas White took to the elevator in one of Manhattan’s skyscrapers to go outside for a smoke break. The elevator malfunctioned, causing him to be stuck. Getting stuck in an elevator usually isn’t that big of deal, except for the fact that rescue efforts didn’t successfully pull through until 41 hours later.
Even the Famous Sometimes Fall
In 2011, Director David Rosenthal managed to crawl out of a two-foot gap along with 14 other movie executives and actors after plummeting eight stories in an elevator. Had the elevator continued to move when any of the survivors tried to exit, it would have severed the person in half.
Celery and Water is Enough to Survive?
If you think Nicholas White’s stay in an elevator for 41 hours was horrific, wait til you hear about Sister Margaret Geary. She was stuck in an elevator for 4 whole days and nights with nothing but a few cough drops, celery sticks and a single bottle of water. Her fellow sisters would have surely came to rescue sooner had they not been away for a convention.
Weight Capacities are Meant to be Followed
When you ignore weight capacity limits on an elevator, you shouldn’t expect anything positive in return. Twenty-six cheerleaders learned this the hard way in 2008 when all of them crammed into the same elevator and were trapped on the first floor for 30 minutes because the doors would not open. The same thing also happened in 2011 to 28 people when they filled a single subway elevator in New York City.
Working as an elevator operator at the Empire State Building, a woman miraculously survived a 75-story fall when a B-25 bomber crashed into the building. The elevator’s walls collapsed upon impact, but the woman was eventually found alive on top of the rubble.
The average height of one story is 10 feet. This means whether you have an elevator servicing 2 floors or 120 floors, maintenance is of the utmost importance. After all, 10-ft fall is more than enough for an elevator rider to get injured.
The most effective method for ensuring your building’s elevators are operating correctly is by making sure they are up to code. Elevator monitoringsystems also prove to be of the utmost value because they provide around-the-clock control and surveillance of your elevators’ functions.
Technology has made elevators safer than ever before, and it’s imperative that you take advantage of today’s latest technological advancements. Consider an elevator modernization upgrade or even a new elevator to avoid elevator horror stories like these.