Children's antics stall elevator at Truro recreation centre

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Jumping in moving elevator at RECC results in them being stuck inside, official says

TRURO  - A group of youngsters jumping up and down inside a moving elevator at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre (RECC) on Sunday resulted in it becoming stuck, an official says.

Half a dozen young people, between the ages of five and 12 were trapped inside the elevator for about 30 minutes, before being rescued by Truro firefighters.

But RECC general manager Jim Lambert said the only reason the lift became stuck in the first place, is because of the antics that were taking place inside the elevator car.

“Absolutely,” he said, in confirming what had happened Sunday evening.

“Jump up down hard enough when it’s moving and it will stick between the first floor and the second floor,” Lambert said.

Officials at the RECC do not have a key to access a stuck elevator because under provincial regulations, the only people who can have such access are trained elevator mechanics, inspectors or emergency personnel.

“We weren’t even supplied with one,” he said, adding the key held by the fire department only provides partial access.

“According to what Otis (the elevator supplier) is telling us, they (the fire department) are only allowed to have the key they’ve got. They’re not allowed to have the key that opens everything up. So the key they’ve got opens up the front section of the door.”

In the case of an elevator being stuck during a fire, Lambert said, the fire department would have used its Jaws of Life to free any trapped passengers.

Chad Lucas, a spokesperson with the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, said for safety reasons, the provincial regulations state that only certified elevator specialists and emergency personnel can have access to elevator unlocking keys.

“It is important for people to know that we have regulations in place to ensure they not only get out quickly, but safely,” Lucas said.

“It takes a trained professional to deal with entrapped passengers in an elevator. People can injure themselves and the occupants of the elevator if they attempt to restart or open elevator doors without the proper training,” he said.

Twitter: @tdnharry

Organizations: Department of Labour and Advanced Education

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Recent comments

  • Becky
    February 05, 2014 - 10:02

    To those who are stunned enough to believe that 5-6 young children jumping in an elevator are enough to cause an elevator to get stuck- are you friggin kidding me??? Maybe 30 years ago!! This is a brand new building!! The newsworthy concern shouldn't be how people parent it should be why a building that cost that much money is having issues with the elevator already?! Let's say there was an adult in there when this happened and it still happened, would the adult be lying too if they also stated that no one was jumping? Maybe your kids don't have an open communication and feel like they must lie to you but not ALL children are like that!! I know a few of the children involved and they are pretty good kids and one of the young girls is extremely honest so excuse me for trusting that maybe they were not doing anything wrong?!?! Seeing as how Mr. Manager wasn't in the elevator when it got stuck how does he know what went on inside?? The point that bugs me most is that journalism is supposed to be about facts and this is not! This is at best an opinion piece not a news piece! In a news piece the reporter would have spoken with more than just the manager and used their brain to decipher the facts of the situation!!

    • Joanna
      February 06, 2014 - 04:46

      The fact that this is a brand new, expensive building is kind of irrelevant; machines breakdown sometimes.

    • Richard
      February 23, 2016 - 08:00

      I would change the maintenance company. Pretty fragile elevators. There must be thousands of elevators in the country with thousands of kids horsing around with breakdowns daily. Unacceptable. Get a good lawyer and enjoy the spoils.

  • Hockey Fan
    February 04, 2014 - 17:35

    How many kids are going to admit they were jumping up and down in an elevator that gets stuck anyway? They should be using the stairs they run around the rink during the game. The Security are not there to Babysit kids while their parent should be responsible for them, it's a hockey game not a daycare or playground. I saw security talking to the children through the doors making sure they were all right, unlike some parents that went back to watching the hockey game. The children should be made to sit in their seats during the game so the people that pay 10.00 a ticket get to enjoy it, parents need to watch their children.

    • Wandy
      February 05, 2014 - 06:21


  • C
    February 04, 2014 - 17:20

    I agree with other comments... Why were the kids unsupervised in the elevator in the first place? I don't see how the RECC can be the only one to blame. I can understand a parent's anxiety if it were my kid stuck in there for two hours... But ideally had an adult been present, maybe the situation would have been less stressful for all parties involved, eg. Communicating with staff, fire, calming other kids down, etc. It's always easy to say it if it's not your kid, but just because it's a place of recreation doesn't mean kids should run free. The kids were ok in the end. Lessons learned.

  • Seriously.....
    February 04, 2014 - 16:57

    As someone who was present when this happened, I am appalled to see these accusations pointed at RECC staff and security. The was staff there were concerned about the well being of the children, but once the fire department are there and taking control of the situation what is the point of the staff standing around watching the firemen try to get into the elevator? Thats not productive at all, it doesn't mean that they are not concerned about the children but they have jobs to do as well. Where were the parents when this happened? I have small children myself and in no way would I let my children go into an elevator without an adult, that's common sense, anything could happen and there is no adults there to assistant if a situation should arise. As per the comments about no signs about no jumping that's common sense! If these were my children and jumping was a factor with the reasons as to why the elevator was stuck, I would be expecting a bill for the cost of what happened.

  • Jess
    February 04, 2014 - 14:45

    his is crazy.. I would never let my kids in an elevator alone.. nor will i ever let them or go in one of those a recc center pfft

  • Kristen
    February 04, 2014 - 12:31

    I am a mother of one of these children. This article should never have been written. The children were stuck in there for over 2 hours They didn't announce to any parents they were stuck. I heard a child in the stands telling her parents. All of the children said they were not jumping. Not one staff member seemed concerned for the well being of the children. Only the firemen were as they called EMT and the police after an hour because they were concerned about their well being. All the security cared about was getting in trouble. One security guy told me its the third time this year it has happened and something is wrong with the elevator. I am just appalled by this managers statements. All lies. One poor child peed his pants and all the kids were sweating and so red from the amount of time they were in there. I am very disappointed in the Daily News for printing this one sided story.

    • A
      February 04, 2014 - 15:34

      Wow. And no one noticed their children were missing for 2 hours or even 30 minutes for that matter? Seems like the RECC wasn't the only people who dropped the ball. Maybe the parents of the kids should have noticed they hadn't returned. Kids love to play in elevators. And I'm not one bit surprised that they all say they were not jumping. Maybe all the kids are not to blame but I bet some of them are....along with the parents, and the RECC.

    • Seriously
      February 05, 2014 - 13:48

      If you didn't notice for 2 hours your kids were missing then there's a bigger problem here. I was there during that time on the walking track. The entire time there were the same aged children with winter boots on running around the track and bumping into people. They were loud, rude, and inconsiderate of other people. Take care of your kids or don't allow them in the RECC. Simple.

  • fan
    February 04, 2014 - 10:42

    Kids will be kids, playing in elevators is what they do. They did something stupid, get over it. I don't know how the parents can get so bent out of shape at the RECC, maybe they should have been supervising their kids. The Bearcats games have always been a cheap babysitter, kids running all over the place. Who will they blame when their kid gets hit with a puck? The RECC because there aren't enough nets? Give me a break, stop the blame game and get over it.

    • Kristen
      February 04, 2014 - 12:51

      I am not blaming anyone at RECC. My child was sternly spoken to about why she was even in the elevator, that is not why we are there and she is never to be in there again. My point is this Lambert fella is speaking lies. Believe me I certainly didn't think this was going to be a news worthy story. We are season ticket holders and go to every game. My daughter is almost 12. I always know where she is at. She also always goes downstairs to get a slushy every game. Lets just say from now on she will be taking the stairs. :)

  • WHAT?
    February 03, 2014 - 20:51

    But RECC general manager Jim Lambert said the only reason the lift became stuck in the first place, is because of the antics that were taking place inside the elevator car. “Absolutely,” he said, in confirming what had happened Sunday evening. “Jump up down hard enough when it’s moving and it will stick between the first floor and the second floor,” Lambert said...... WOW can't believe he said that!..... And no signs up to that fact? Why were these young children unsupervised? No signs, no supervision? Lucky no one got hurt. A good lawyer would have fun with that. i'd say Jim and the RECC staff need to pull their socks up out there.....its not all fun and games you know, and certainly the place shouldn't be a babysitting service......

  • d
    February 03, 2014 - 20:14

    It should be noted that not one parent was talked to about these facts. However here are some facts. The children were trapped for 2 hours not 30mins. The children including the oldest who took control inside of the elevator immediately said no one was jumping in the elevator. Final fact this is the third time this particular "new " elevator has gotten stuck.

  • Trina
    February 03, 2014 - 19:50

    Where was security? Or RECC staff? Or guardians of these young children?