Former Hancock Building Elevator Fell 84 Floors Before Rescue

The lift plunged from the 95th floor in Chicago's fourth tallest building

An elevator in a Chicago skyscraper plummeted 84 floors with six terrified passengers inside - and it took three hours to rescue the victims, who were trapped with no food or water.

Around 12:30 a.m. Friday, the group was leaving the Signature Room restaurant on the 95th floor when two cables broke, causing the elevator to stall near the 11th floor of Chicago's fourth-tallest building. "We were going down, and then I felt that we were falling down, and then I heard a noise: clack clack clack clack" - the sound of getting trapped in an elevator.

It started to get "bumpy", like an incoming flight to Chicago, a Northwestern law student who was in the elevator told the Chicago Tribune.

"It was a precarious situation where we had the cable break on top of the elevator..." One of the cables was found to be snapped, whereas the others were luckily still attached, preventing the deadly fall.

"I knew something wasn't OK", Maña Montemayor said.
Fortunately for the passengers, redundant ropes exist to keep the elevator from a fatal nonstop drop to the bottom of the shaft. "We don't like to have to go through walls unless it's absolutely necessary".

Chicago firefighters broke a brick wall to free the trapped elevator passengers.

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Seconds before the incident, the passengers had left a restaurant on the building's dizzying 95th floor and entered the lift, when one of the cables malfunctioned and the auto fell at a hair-raising speed.

The firefighters drilled a 5-by-5-foot hole through a wall in the building's parking garage.

Luis Vazquez, a friend of the Montemayors who took a different elevator to the ground floor, told the Tribune he couldn't believe what was happening.

It later emerged that one of the hoist ropes of the elevator had broken-even though, according to CBS Chicago, the elevator had passed its annual inspection in July.

But, according to CBS Chicago, no one from building security immediately called the fire department.

The elevator and two others will be closed until repairs are made and officials figure out what happened.

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