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.