I got stuck in the elevator today *shudder*

The elevator went up to the 3rd floor and stopped… but the door wouldn’t open. I pushed the Open Door button a couple of times… still didn’t open. My stomach began to tighten, my hands began to sweat, and my mouth got quite dry. I’m not claustrophobic or anything but I have a terrible fear of the elevator cables snapping and me plummeting downwards to my untimely death.

I had just been down to our Human Resources department to drop off the paperwork to get my new husband included on my health insurance and to name him as my beneficiary for the life insurance provided to me through my work. As I was standing there, stuck on the unmoving elevator, I clutched at my copies of the paperwork and thought, “Well, at least I got this taken care of before I died!” I swear, I could feel the elevator shaking and swaying as I stood there.

I had to use the little phone in there to call our Security so they could call maintenance to get me out. After being stuck there for about 5 minutes, (hoping the cable wouldn’t snap!) all the lights went off! About 2 minutes later they came back on and the elevator started going down until I was on the 1st floor. I had to call Security again to tell them the elevator took me back downstairs because maintenance was up on 3rd floor trying to pry open the doors! Finally after being stuck for 15 minutes they pried the doors open and I got off.

I’m taking the stairs from now on.


Theoretically, modern elevators cannot fall, even if the cables snap. I think some sort of brake is supposed to press against the shaft walls.


At least you weren’t in labor. Isn’t that usually the case? Glad you made it out okay!

At least you weren’t stuck in there over a weekend or something! :eek: But I’m happy you made it out all right.

I think it says something about the elevators in my building when I read the title of the OP and thought to myself, “I hate that when that happens.”

Similarly, when you can justify being late to a meeting on the 14th floor by saying that the elevators weren’t working/only one was running/etc., and people just nod.

At least an insane primate hell-bent on mauling you to death wasn’t in the elevator with you.

I’ve been stuck twice. Once, when I was a child on my way to the Dentist, stuck in there w/my mother who decided it was time to re-braid my hair.

THe most recent time was after a meeting at the local community college, I step on w/an older gentleman who’d just been ‘working out’. and it stopped between floors.

called on the little phone dealie, guy answers and I say 'hi, we’re calling ‘cause the elevator stopped’. where are you? ‘in the elevator…’ :smiley:

that time, we were stuck for over half an hour. I continually worried about two things - the old guy who’d just been working out, and the multiple cups of coffee I’d had at the meeting.

I was thinking the same thing as wring. How long can you hold it if you really have to? Good thing you got out fairly quickly, although it probably didn’t seem like it!

Just to reassure you, no one has ever been killed by elevator cables snapping and passengers plummeting downwards to an untimely death.

In fact, the only case of an elevator going into free fall was when a small plane hit the Empire State Building in 1940. The passenger who was on the elevator survived. (This information predates September 11, so I’m not sure how elevators were impacted by the terrorist attacks.)

A good article about elevator safety.
It’s still no fun to be stuck, but you might as well spend your time worrying about the bathroom issue, because the other thing ain’t gonna happen.

Whoops, too many windows open.

Here’s that link about elevator safety.

I don’t even know why I opened this thread. I’m claustrophobic, and I can barely even read about people being stuck in elevators. I’ve said in the past that I would pretty much try to claw my way out if I ever did get stuck in one. They’ve managed to make it impossible for elevators to fall, but why don’t they address the trapped issue? Maybe some tranquilizer mist when the elevator gets stuck, or something.

There’s a guy in my church who’s in the elevator maintenance union, and he told me about a guy who got stuck on a holiday weekend, with security guards who didn’t make sure to check all the cameras. He was pretty mad when he got out.

He says that you find the weirdest stuff at the bottom of an elevator shaft, even stuff like unmangled soda cans that they wonder how people got them in the shaft full sized.

There also was the story of the UPS driver who disappeared. What they figure is that his elevator got stuck slightly off the floor level. I forget if he had to pull the doors open, but he obviously got out, and then fell back into the shaft, under the car. No one knew where he was. The elevator guys didn’t look around, because the car reset, and by the time they got there, it was working fine, so they left. When the underling was sent to the bottom to clean it out, days later, he found the body.

You know why you can’t get out the top of most elevator cars any more? Kids were climbing up, riding the tops of the cars, and then jumping from car to car in the shaft.

And if you want to watch him really roll his eyes, ask him if there are really spikes at the top of the shafts like in “Speed”.

I thought I was stuck in an elevator once… I was about 7 years old and I was playing in it when nobody else was using it. I accidently pushed the button for the floor I was on instead of a different floor, and the doors shut but the elevator didn’t move. So I started screaming and crying, but I didn’t use the little phone to call for help because I wasn’t allowed to use phones without asking and there was nobody to ask. Eventually I thought, “Hmmmm, I don’t remember the elevator moving” and pushed the Door Open button and got out. There were people coming down the corridor to help me because they heard me screaming. It was kind of funny.

I’ve ridden quite a few elevators. Not having an access from inside the elevator never presented a problem. I’ve never jumped from one to another, because that would be stupid.

Riding on top is safer than most people think. To get the elevator to move, you generally have to flip a switch and then push the up or down button, which makes the elevator move very slowly up or down.

I’m of the opinion that access hatches are uncommon because people would be dumb enough to try to escape the elevator that way if it stopped, without any regard for the danger. If an elevator stops on a floor, there’s no reason to climb out the top and end up on the floor above; in fact, most elevator doors can be forced open from the inside without tools. If you ever get stuck in an elevator, try opening the door. It can ususally be opened between floors while the elevator is moving between floors, which will stop it. That’s apparently common knowledge based on the fact that I’ve seen a lot of graf on the wall betwen floors.
Speaking of no regard for the danger, the best way we found to ride was to completely ignore the controls on top. We did this in a building with six stories and a basement, and it was good fun on a boring saturday night.

We’d get on the elevator at the ground floor, and take it to the sixth floor. Then, before stepping out of the elevator, we’d hit the 5th and Basement buttons. We’d step out, wait for the elevator to drop to the 5th floor, then pop the 6th floor outer door open. Because of the safety locks, that would keep the elevator at the fifth floor. We’d then step onto the roof, get situated safely, and let the door close. The elevator would then drop to the basement at normal speed, which seems faster when you’re riding on top. At about the third floor the counterweight would whiz past behind us. Once the elevator got to the basement, we’d pop the first floor door open from the inside, and crawl out.

Elevators of 5 floors and less are boring, becuase they’re usually hydraulic. Elevators in buildings with thick floors or high ceilings suck because it’s a long way down to the roof of the elevator from the floor above it.