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It was one of the most scariest experiences in life that I’ve had – and it was only about half an hour, maybe even less. But when you feel every second passing by, then half an hour seems like a LOT more time.
So how did this happen in the first place?
It was a peaceful, sunny Sunday afternoon. You know the one when everybody is chilling at home with their family, trying to get the most of the free day left. I am saying this because it’s important for the story.
I was hearing some cat crying for a few days and it annoyed me so much as I thought maybe a kitten is dying somewhere downstairs. You know I live on the 6th floor and those cat sounds just reached the top of my nerves.
I tried to look for a lost kitty several times but had no success. Circling around my building and never finding any small cat.
So as I could not really enjoy my Sunday thinking that maybe a small cat is crying for help, left without water or food for 3 or 4 days, I decided to get down to look for it AGAIN, and buy myself some ice cream.
This time I was lucky to finally discover that it was the neighbor’s BIG cat making those sounds. I was really relieved and with a delicious ice cream in my hands I started feeling quite happy going back to my apartment on the 6th floor.
Of course taking the stairs was not an option.
No phone taken either – after all I was only going to the local store. No streets to cross and only half a minute away. What could really happen to make me bring a cell phone with me?
So I got in the small, small elevator and hit the button. The elevator did just fine until the second floor when the light went out but it still went to my floor. And stopped there. And nothing happened. No doors opening. Nothing.
It took me a second to realize the situation and then I felt panic.
I started banging on the door and shouting for help. Well, NO ONE answered. In a building full of people on Sunday afternoon. I KNOW some people could hear me as I heard their children shouting.
It was very dark in the elevator. Since I had no phone I could not call or light up to see anything.
The elevator buttons were still working and the display was still shining showing which floor I am on. It seems that some contact was lost only for the door opening and the main light. How lucky I was.
And next I realized that the elevator was still functional as someone just pulled me down. Very soon I will be traveling up and down the building in a dark elevator whenever someone pressed the button to call the elevator.
The drama unfolding
Luckily some girl pulled me down the first time and she had a cell.
Now check this out: she called and called the elevator maintenance but again NO ONE answered. They are supposed to be reachable 24/7. But you know it was Sunday – a day to relax and not save some people trapped in an elevator.
So, no maintenance. At this point I started imagining that I would eventually run out of oxygen or die from CO2 poisoning. I could almost see the small newspaper section announcing my end. I got really worried that I might suffocate. Of course at this point I was all in tears, my heart was pounding hard and my stress levels were sky high.
I tried pushing the buttons for opening the doors. Nothing. No contact.
Then I found the alarm button. I think the whole building could hear it and I rang it on most floors. If I count the people that came out to help – I think 4 of my building. Four people from my f*****g building.
A man tried to open the doors by force. No success.
I was desperate.
Then a guard from the next building came as they rang him too. They remembered there is a key for manual opening the door. Now the race for finding the key began.
Of course no one from my building had it. We are really funny people in this matter. No one cared enough to have a freaking key for manually opening the elevator. I guess it’s the reasoning: “It can’t happen (to me)” at work.
So callings began. Where is the key? It seemed no one has it. They ran to spare building rooms looking for it. Nope. No key.
I was really starting to suffocate, I admit maybe it was just me panicking, but the upper air in the small elevator started burning my lungs. It WAS easier and cooler to breathe closer to the floor.
The end of the story
So after half an hour, horrifying for me, a guy from the next building, who just returned from a holiday came up with a key. There were these scary, scary few seconds when I wondered if the key would match – but it did!
First thing I wanted to do was get some fresh air. Outside was heaven, all warm and sunny and peaceful and with a soft wind shaking the trees.
I felt reborn. All my small worries disappeared and I was actually happy to just be ALIVE.
So this is what I’ve learned: I am NEVER NEVER EVER taking the elevator again in my life. With such a poor maintenance and an elevator so poorly designed (this actually happened few times before me) I don’t want to risk to possibly die in such a stupid way. I don’t even know if the air flow is properly designed. I imagine that with elevators made in our country and being the cheapest ones, it would be possible to really suffocate inside a very small space within few hours.
I’D RATHER WALK THANKS!
Check this guy who got stuck in an elevator for incredible 41 hours. The strangest thing is that it was an express elevator that skipped floors, so by opening the door it was only concrete for the floors it never stopped on. And it had number 13 drawn on the floor he got stuck. Hmmmmm…..what’s going on?
And all caught on camera. Nice maintenance and security work.