* Man, what a nightmare….
More than two dozen tourists were stuck in an elevator Sunday in the Illinois State Capitol building. […]
“There were like 25 or 30 people. It was very uncomfortable. Everybody was packed together,” said Pamela Ruzich, a who was visiting the Capitol from Ozark, Illinois. “And just as the elevator took off, there was a loud pop.”
Wait. 25 or 30 people? How the heck did they even squeeze that many people on? The elevators have a weight limit of 5,000 pounds, on a good day, and as many of us know, they don’t often have good days.
* It gets weirder…
With no cell phone signal, that left the tour guide to call for help. She picked up the in-elevator phone line, but according to protocol, she is supposed to call the elevator company, rather than the fire department to rescue them from inside the elevator.
“Repeatedly we asked them to call 911 and we were repeatedly told, ‘that’s against our protocol, we’re not doing that,’ and with no cell phone signal, that left us completely helpless,” said Lence.
After about 45 minutes, they took matters into their own hands.
“One of the men finally pried the elevator door open. Someone put their phone into the shaft so we could get signal, and we called the fire department ourselves,” said Lence.
They aren’t allowed to call the fire department? Sheesh.
The fire department responded in a few minutes. All was well and it turns out that actor Jesse Spencer, from the “Chicago Fire” TV show was one of the trapped elevator riders. He took photos with his fellow passengers.
Whew. I kinda feel like Sneed after writing that sentence.
* The incident is prompting a policy evaluation…
A spokesman for the secretary of state’s office says current policy prohibiting Statehouse tour guides from calling the fire department in the event of elevator troubles is being reviewed.
Dave Druker said Monday that representatives of the firm contracted to service Capitol building elevators have been notified that they should have arrived sooner when a tour guide called from a stalled elevator with 25 people on board late Sunday morning. […]
Asked why it’s Capitol policy to notify the elevator service firm and not the fire department, Druker said the state “has a contract with the firm that does work on the elevators, and I think they didn’t arrive as quickly as we’d hoped.”
He apologized for the incident.