Satya's blog - Trapped in an elevator
Yesterday I was trapped in the library elevator (alone) for about 20 minutes. Here's what happened. I got in on the first floor and pressed the fourth floor button. As I went up, I heard a bang and some scraping. I disregarded it because this elevator is often noisy. But it must have broken something, because the doors wouldn't open.
The elevator went up and down a couple of times due to people using the other one in the set, and me trying to convince it to open. But as I repeatedly pushed the Door Open button I could hear the whine of the actuator but the doors wouldn't budge, not even manually (by me pushing on them). So I picked up the emergency phone and explained what was going on. So far about 3 minutes had passed. The elevator was on the first floor, as I didn't want a four-floor drop under me even though I knew the *cables* were fine.
In a few minutes I could hear voices outside, people saying yeah sure enough it won't open. Then the elevator moved around between floors a bit. There was much banging on top. The maintenance guy asked me a few times if I was okay, and told me to relax.
Aside from slight boredom and a mild urge to sit down I was feeling fine. I knew it wasn't air-tight and I had plenty of light -- this elevator was fully functional except for the doors. There was an inch-wide gap between the inner door and the right side of the frame, where I could see some sort of cable hanging. I considered trying to pull it but didn't want to stick my fingers in there. I could see light through it, and see the shaft wall and a little of the other elevator's door.
After much (mild) swearing, the guy raised the elevator to the secret third floor and opened the door a little to tell me, he was going to get on top and move it level with the floor (I was willing to climb or jump at this point). Then when the doors opened I should get out while watching my step in case of... a step. In case the floors weren't at the same level. It took him considerable effort to open the doors manually, and I stepped out.
The guy asked me to ride the other elevator down and tell the Public Safety officer on the first floor that I was out, but I couldn't get back in from the secret third floor (you need a key) so I went out to the stairs, down to second, out the library doors, into the building's central foyer, down those stairs, ... just as the maintenance guy came down in the other elevator. Waved at Security, got in the other one, and went about my business.
Later in the day the elevator was blocked off with big signs and tape. Apparently they need to get a part which they won't for a week or more. There was also an email sent around to library staff about it, saying the person trapped inside was "set free" (their quotation marks) and no one was injured.
Last updated: Jan 21 2006 12:18