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Monday, May 7, 2018

London - trapped in a lift in Cambridge Estates in Kingston

(Medeshi)- Thanks to God that I am safe today after three of us have got stuck in a lift. The lift suddenly stopped between the third and the ground floors with a sudden bang.
The other two were a Sri Lankan father and his daughter who live in Burwell block. I live in Chippenham and the lift is shared between the blocks.

The Estate blocks (Web Image )

We called Kingston council but received no response because of the bank holidays .The emergency bell and the phone connected to it failed. We had to bang the door to get the attention of the passers-by. Finally an elderly lady who is my neighbour heard the noises coming from the lift. She asked us if we were trapped in the lift. We shouted again and requested for her help. The lift steel box had the minimum oxygen left and we were all sweating and breathing rapidly. The outside temperature was 28 Celsius but it was much hotter in the lift box.   We kept calm by speaking to each other and changing the subject. But then the clock was ticking and we had to act fast. We kept calling many departments in Kingston including the lift company but in vain. All of us had our mobiles so we were busy  calling and calling.
Finally the  lady and her son were able to call the fire brigade after we spent almost an hour trapped in between four steel walls.
The fire brigade came and was able to open the door. But we were stuck half way and one of them had to jump down and push us up one by one while another pulled us up .
The Estate that I live in was built in 1967 and the lifts are getting rusty and unreliable but the council always repairs these old lifts without replacing them with modern ones because of financial constraints. Many elderly people live in the 2nd or the 3rd floors in our block and have difficulties in climbing up and down the stairs.
It was a horrendous experience and a close call.