A group of six tourists, one of them a pregnant woman, entered the lift on the 95th floor of the former John Hancock Centre in Chicago. This is one of the city’s tallest skyscrapers and the lift plunged down 84 floors to stop at the 11th. The reason was the snapping of the supporting cable and the occupants spent anxious moments for rescuers to arrive. One of the tourists even expected the worst and, fortunately, no one was injured.

Sky News reports that the incident happened on Friday and the group included a couple of students and two tourists.

They had left the 95th-floor restaurant and entered the express lift that should have taken them directly to the bottom but things did not work out as planned.

Rescue was prompt

It was undoubtedly a panic situation in the John Hancock Centre in Chicago because, as the lift descended, the occupants heard queer noises from outside and realized that something was wrong. They had friends with them who used another lift to come down.

They panicked when the lift did not appear even after 20 minutes and raised an alarm. The firefighters entered the scene and it took nearly two hours to get to the group.

Since it was an express lift, the number of openings were few. The cabin of the lift was stuck between the 12th and 11th floors, and firefighters had to break a concrete wall on the 11th floor to gain access to the location.

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Two cables had snapped and the lift was dangling. Chicago fire department battalion chief Patrick Maloney explained that it was “a pretty precarious situation” and there was no scope of any elevator-to-elevator rescue.

There will be an investigation

According to Standard UK, several cables support the lift in the John Hancock Centre in Chicago and one of these had snapped.

The others were in place and prevented it from plummeting to the floor. One of the occupants said that there was panic and those trapped inside began to scream and cry. The authorities have decided to close this particular lift along with two others. These will remain closed for repairs while officials carry out an investigation. It had undergone its last inspection in July.

High-rise buildings and skyscrapers are the norms of today and there are people responsible to ensure that the infrastructure functions. The 84-floor plunge of the lift in Chicago is a sort of a wakeup call. Regular checks are necessary on features of this nature so that they are always in a position to deliver the goods. Incidentally, this skyscraper had a fire incident some time back