In Depth

Cardiff shoppers stuck in lift that climbed and plunged for 40 minutes

Ordeal in Wales likened to horror film scene

Shoppers in Wales suffered an ordeal they likened to a horror film as they were trapped in a lift that climbed and fell repeatedly for nearly 40 minutes.

More than a dozen people were “thrown up and down” as the lift “jolted seven floors from the top of St David’s shopping centre in Cardiff on Saturday evening”, reports The Guardian.

Taris Chapman, 19, one of those trapped, decided to post on Facebook about the incident “to warn others of how dangerous lifts can be”.

In the public post she said: “Myself, three of my friends and nine other people were in the lift in St David’s shopping centre this evening when it stopped working.

“This resulted in 40 minutes of the lift going to the top floor and just plunging us down seven floors with force, whilst jolting. Not to mention, how frightening it was as we couldn’t get hold of the helpline 10 minutes into the lift breaking.”

Chapman said the lift speaker “kept cutting off” when they were finally able to raise the helpline and “due to no signal we couldn’t even get through to the emergency services”.

“Around 20 minutes later, the fire service came and helped us get out. This was the most terrifying thing we have experienced and want to warn others as it was very distressing,” she added.

Speaking to WalesOnline, Chapman and her friends compared the incident to a scene from a horror film. “It felt like there was no control over the lift. Everyone was screaming and panicking. It felt like the cord that holds the lift wasn’t working properly,” they said.

A spokeswoman for the shopping centre said there had been no reports of the lift malfunctioning before the incident. Those trapped in the lift were given free parking passes, she added. “We are now speaking to those involved individually and will be making a gesture of goodwill,” she said.

Megan Jones, 19, who was also in the lift with her mother, Alyson, 53, wrote on Facebook: “Me and my mam were stuck in this lift, it was an absolute horrific and life-changing experience, and to only be offered ‘free parking’ is disgusting.

“Not being able to contact anyone whilst we were being thrown up and down with no way of stopping the lift. It was honestly the worst experience of my life and if there was any more than the 13 of us in there, there would have been bigger issues.”

A spokeswoman for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service confirmed a crew from Cardiff Central were called to the shopping centre at around 6.57pm on Saturday.

It followed reports that a “lift was stuck”.

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