An elevator inside Chicago’s former Hancock building dropped 84 floors before trapping six people inside, local news outlets reported. Rescuers arrived shortly after the fall early Friday morning to cut a hole in the building’s wall and free those inside.
The accident unfolded at in the 875 North Michigan Avenue building, formerly known as the John Hancock Center and the city’s fourth tallest building, the Chicago Tribune reported. Guests entered the elevator after leaving building’s Signature Room — a bar with stunning views of downtown from the 95th floor — before at least one cables holding the car broke.
A sudden “clack clack clack” noise occurred, passenger Jaime Montemayor, 50, told the Tribune, before dust began seeping into the car. Those aboard screamed, prayed and cried, the newspaper reported.
“I believed we were going to die,” Montemayor, who was visiting from Mexico, told CBS Chicago.
Firefighters arrived to make a rescue, eventually locating the car near the 11th floor and cutting an opening in a concrete wall, the station reported. Those inside were pulled to safety, leaving cables hanging next to the elevator’s cracked door.
The whole process took nearly three hours.
“It was a pretty precarious situation where we had the cables that were broke were on top of the elevator,” said Chicago Fire Department Battalion Chief Patrick Maloney, per ABC 7 Chicago.
None rescued from the trapped needed hospitalization, CBS Chicago noted, and visitors to the tower on Friday were using freight elevators to reach its top.
The elevator that failed Friday had last been inspected in July, the station reported, one of the city’s 22,000 elevators annually reviewed.
The cause of the elevator’s fall — a failed “hoist rope,” a City Buildings Department official told the Tribune — remained under investigation Monday, according to the newspaper.
Source: USA TODAY