Woman Rescued After Getting Stuck in New York City Elevator for Entire Weekend

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.
January 28, 2019 Updated: January 29, 2019

A woman was rescued from a New York City elevator on Jan. 28 after being stuck inside all weekend.

The Fire Department of New York responded to a building on the Upper East Side in the Manhattan borough just after 10 a.m. on Monday and freed the woman.

She was stuck in an elevator between the second and third floors of a townhouse at 48 East 65th Street.

According to the real estate website StreetEasy, the building is five stories and was built in 1920. It’s about one block from Central Park.

The woman, a cleaning employee, got stuck on Friday, reported WABC. No one else was home when she got stuck and, apparently, no one returned until Monday.

When someone finally entered the house at the start of the week, they realized there was a person trapped inside the elevator and they called 911.

The woman was rushed to a nearby hospital, reported NBC NY. Her condition wasn’t made public as of yet.

City records show that the elevator that the woman got stuck in was last inspected in July 2018. No violations were filed at the time.

Would Break Record

If the woman was indeed in the elevator from Friday to Monday, it would break the record for the longest time trapped in an elevator in New York City.

Nicholas White, a production manager at Business Week, spent 40 hours on an elevator in 1999 after getting stuck while working late.

White, then 34, told a colleague that he was going outside to smoke a cigarette, and hopped in the elevator at the 43rd floor of the McGraw-Hill Building, which was later added to the Rockefeller Center. White made it downstairs and smoked, but when he re-entered the elevator and started going up, the elevator stopped. No one found him until almost two days later, on Sunday afternoon.

He told the New Yorker that he never found out why the elevator stopped.

While people who are trapped for significant periods of time in elevators, caves, or other places undergo stress, it doesn’t cause permanent extreme problems in all of them, researchers said.

George Bonanno, a psychology professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, who published a study (pdf) in the journal of the Association for Psychological Science, said that his team found a low rate of extreme problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, in a majority of people coping after a disaster.

“We concluded that the ceiling for harmful effects is about 30 percent of those exposed,” he told The Associated Press. “Most everyone else either recovers quickly or shows great resilience. Some people will be deeply psychologically wounded, but most people will not.”

NYC elevator
One of the Art Deco elevators at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria in a file photo. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

He said people should be on hand to monitor the machines.

”If you’re in a modern commercial building and you press an alarm bell, by law you should be automatically connected by intercom to a person, either in the building or at an outside station,” he said.

“In a new residential building, the intercom isn’t required, but the alarm is supposed to be connected to a monitoring station somewhere.”

From NTD News

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.