Tuesday, November 25, 2003
What Would You Do: Elevator Agony
Stuck inside a crowded elevator no bigger than a cubicle... Your life practicallly hanging by a cable. Have you ever thought what would you do if you were riding high and the doors refused to open? Tonight, seven's charles perez shows us how to Survive Elevator Agony.
We saw busy roads operating without street lights... Subway cars sitting paralyzed on the tracks... And inside those massive skyscrapers, thousands of people waited, probably even panicked, crammed for hours on an elevator.
"What's the wrong thing to do?"
"The wrong thing to do is panic. We're going to get to you, you're not going to suffocate in an elevator ... There's lighting."
That's right. Plenty of lighting and plenty of oxygen.
"I'm not going to run out of air? I'm going to be ok?"
"No, there's a fan running, there's ventilation right above the hatches over here. There's ventilation that's running right now."
Even when the whole city is out of power like in New York... Most elevators have a back-up source that will keep the lights on and the air flowing.
Also, don't worry about free falling to the ground.
"Normally the elevator won't fall. There's breaking mechanisms."
By the laws of engineering, elevator breaks are required to kick in if the elevator drops more than a few inches.
I look at that, and I say that's all that's holding this elevator. That's quite a bit of cable holding that elevator.
Plus most elevators have multiple cables in case one breaks.
That's not to say accidents can't happen.
So what do you do?
What I would is I would wait until the utilities, the building maintenance or the fire department has secured the power to the car to make sure.
Yep... hard to believe, but the best thing to do is hang tight .. figure out the buttons on your watch ... Sleep... Whatever, until help arrives.
But here are a couple of things you should not do...
"I'm going to grab hold of the side and, somehow, I'm going to pull myself up."
In the movies they escape through the hatch at the top of the elevator.
Reality check ...
"I'm really stuck, because the next doorway isn't right here, and it's not open, it's up there."
"I'm somehow going to be able to pry this door open and get out. Is that going to happen?"
"No. The doors without some sort of prying tool? There's hooks and levers that actually hold this door closed."
And if the elevator is between floors ... Never ever try to jump out.
"Until we're sure that the power has been shut down to the car, I wouldn't want to crawl through any of the holes."
"That could be a fatal decision."
The bottom line is, the best thing is to call for help... and wait for the authorities to arrive.
Next week, Charles is going to show us how to survive a rip current.
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