Real-life Tower of Terror

This is the 875 North Michigan Avenue, formerly known as the John Hancock Center, where the incident happened.

This is the 875 North Michigan Avenue, formerly known as the John Hancock Center, where the incident happened.

Lianys Olmeda, Staff Writer

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On November 16, 2018 six people were waiting for an elevator of one of Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers, the 875 North Michigan Avenue, formerly known as the John Hancock Center after leaving a restaurant on the 95th floor. They were completely oblivious to the terror they would endure once those elevator doors opened and they stepped in. Once the elevator arrived, everyone got inside and immediately heard a loud noise as the car started descending. One of the elevator’s cables broke, which led to a terrifying drop through 84 floors from the top of Chicago’s fourth-tallest building. One of the elevator’s passengers, Jaime Montemayor, said, “At the beginning I believed we were going to die. We were going down and then I felt that we were falling down and then I heard a noise- clack clack clack.” The car fell quickly and landed somewhere near the 11th floor.

A couple who was in the elevator said they held onto each other and prayed during this ordeal. They knew as soon as they got into the elevator that something wasn’t right. One of them told the Chicago Tribune that she noticed dust particles seeping into the elevator, and in that moment realized that this elevator ride was going to be different from the rest. Fortunately, though, everyone survived this frightening experience, and no one was hurt. However, the trip wasn’t over as soon as the elevator stopped. The passengers had to wait for hours until firefighters were able to rescue them. The rescue took longer since firefighters couldn’t do an elevator-to-elevator rescue and instead had to break through a wall more than ten stories above ground. A student riding the elevator said that the firefighter couldn’t find them, since they thought they’d only fallen a few floors, when they’d actually fallen down 84. The first fire crew checked the building’s electronic system in order to get an estimate of where the elevator was. Then, they drilled a small hole in the concrete wall near the elevator and inserted a small camera in a “goose neck” wire to look around and find out exactly where it was. Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said, “Once they did that, they knew which walls to break” and were able to rescue all of the passengers and lead them to safety.

 

 

 

 

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