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April 15, 2013

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Half-hour stuck in lift terrifies 20 at mall

MORE than 20 people were trapped in an elevator at a local shopping mall for more than 30 minutes on Saturday night, including a woman who suffered breathing difficulties while stuck, the operator of the mall said yesterday.

The Mitsubishi elevator suddenly stopped while descending at the Zhongyuan City Plaza in Yangpu District around 11pm after 24 passengers entered from a cinema at the mall, a mall official said.

"Many who were stuck inside were so frightened they were pale, while some others broke out in a sweat until the firefighters rescued us" a passenger said in her microblog.

The lift began descending from the fourth floor of the mall but stopped at the middle of the fourth and third floors after a big bang, she recalled. It also swayed for awhile, making passengers scream and cry, she added. A woman at her 30s had difficulty breathing after being trapped for about 30 minutes. She was treated and released at a nearby hospital.

Police officers and firefighters pulled up the stuck elevator and rescued all the passengers at 11:35pm.

"The elevator might have been overloaded because it was designed to hold only 21 people, or some passenger may have touched the door of the elevator that made it stop as a protective measure," the official said.

She said the mall will release the cause of the accident after the police and mechanics from the elevator company finish their investigation.

The elevator resumed operation yesterday morning after mechanics tested it overnight but found no problem, she said. The plaza will decide whether to compensate the passengers after the investigation is done, the official said.

She said mall staff kept talking and comforting the passengers through the telephone on the elevator. They also called the police and firefighters immediately.

All the passengers were in good condition yesterday and their anger also was lessened as the operators of the mall called each one, the official added.

In February, a woman was severely injured after her leg was compressed in an elevator for more than an hour in Hongkou District.

In January, the unclosed door of an elevator shaft led to the death of a 21-year-old woman after a maintenance worker illegally caused the door to stay in the open position.


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