University News

Health Services elevator traps staff member

Smoking, stalled elevator system prompts evacuation of Andrews House Tuesday

Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A custodial staff member was stuck in a malfunctioning elevator in Health Services in Andrews House Tuesday around 2:30 p.m., said Paul Shanley, deputy chief of police for the Department of Public Safety.

At 2:26 p.m., DPS received a call that a fire alarm had sounded in Health Services and “there was a person stuck in the elevator,” Shanley said.

Representatives from Atlantic Elevator South Co., Inc., Providence Police Department officers from the Brook Street branch and DPS officers arrived on the scene, Shanley said. The Providence Fire Department found smoke rising from the basement maintenance room attached to the elevator shaft, he added.

The smoke came “from an elevator motor which activated the fire alarm” and prompted the building to be evacuated, wrote Lynn Dupont, associate director of Health Services, in an email to The Herald.

The elevator was stuck between the second and third floor, Shanley said. Responders broke the glass window to the elevator door to “reach in and finagle with some of the cables” in order to deliver the custodial staff member to safety, he added.

“It’s unknown at this time when the elevator will be back in service,” Shanley said, adding that

The Fire Department is “used to responding to people stuck in the elevator,” he said. “This isn’t the first time they’ve been caught in this situation.”

Shanley added that he had not heard of the elevator in Health Services malfunctioning prior to Tuesday.

Following the incident, Health Services resumed full service by 3:30 p.m., Dupont wrote.

Multiple staff members at Health Services declined to comment. The Providence Police Department, Student and Employee Accessibility Services and Atlantic Elevator South Co., Inc. could not be reached for comment by press time.


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