Visitors in a famed Chicago skyscraper dropped 84 floors, but survived when an elevator malfunctioned in the world’s 16th tallest building.
The NY Daily News reports,
A mechanical problem caused a half-dozen passengers nearly 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile to drop from the 95th level cocktail lounge at 875 N. Michigan Ave. to the building’s 11thfloor Friday. Rescuers spent almost three hours rescuing terrified passengers, according to CBS Chicago.
Firefighters hammered through a concrete wall to get to stranded visitors.
“At the beginning I believed we were going to die,” Mexican tourist Jaime Montemayor told CBS. “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.”
A broken hoist rope is reportedly to blame for the unexpected plummet. A series of back-up ropes brought the elevator to a stop, preventing serious injuries or worse. No one was hospitalized.
Passengers needing to get to the top of the skyscraper used freight elevators until maintenance workers had a chance to look over the lifts after Friday’s mishap. Properly functioning elevators reportedly travel from the building’s lobby to the 95th floor in 38 seconds.
The skyscraper, known by its 875 N. Michigan Ave. address, was built as the John Hancock Center in 1969. At 1,499 feet, 875 N. Michigan Ave. is 44-feet taller than the Empire State Building, which made its debut on the city skyline in 1931. The world’s tallest building is the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai. It measures 2,717 feet.