6 Passengers Trapped in Elevator for 3 Hours in Chicago’s Hancock Tower; Elevator Fell Nearly 84 Stories

It took nearly three hours to rescue six people stuck in an elevator in Chicago’s fourth-tallest building early Friday.

A broken hoist rope caused the express elevator to malfunction while guests who had just left the Signature Room on the 95th floor rode down toward the lobby. The elevator and two others have since been closed to the public while repairs are made and investigators figure out what happened.

What kept the elevator from tumbling down to the bottom of the building? Several hoist ropes hold up an elevator car, so if one fails, the others are able to carry the weight.

Visiting from Mexico, Jaime Montemayor didn’t expect his trip to Chicago to include getting stuck in an elevator.

“At the beginning I believed we were going to die,” Montemayor said. “We were going down and then I felt that we were falling down and then I heard a noise–clack clack clack clack clack clack.”

His wife, Mana Castillo, said the elevator was moving fast and suddenly a material that looked like dust started filtrating into the elevator.

She said they found out later that they had careened from the 95th floor down to the 11th floor.

None of the people in the elevator were hospitalized.

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SOURCE: Vince Gerasole
CBS 2 Chicago