Fifty people trapped in two stuck elevators at Revel early Sunday morning were rescued by Atlantic City firefighters who guided casino patrons up ladders and through dark elevator shafts to safety.
No injuries were reported.
The two separate incidents took place less than an hour apart. In fact, firefighters were just finishing one rescue when called to a second, Atlantic City Fire Chief Dennis Brooks said.
The first call came about 1:30 a.m. for 22 people trapped, he said.
Approaching the elevator from floors above, rescuers cut off power before prying open the doors and sending a 35-foot ladder down the shaft, Brooks said.
Four firefighters with safety harnesses descended onto the cars, attached ropes to the patrons and aided them up the ladder, one-by-one, women first, Brooks said.
“I’m sure a lot of the people weren’t crazy about climbing up a dark ladder in an elevator, and not in a nice environment with all those cables and grease,” he said. “They were probably scared if the elevator moves. They were probably a nervous wreck. Our guys did a pretty good job assuring them they’ll be all right.”
Shortly after the first rescue, authorities were called to another elevator near the HQ Nightclub for 28 people stuck between the second and fourth floors, he said.
Emergency personnel assessed patrons as they emerged from the elevator shaft.
“They were a little shook up. Nobody was treated at the scene, and there were no injuries,” Brooks said.
A spokesperson for Revel could not be reached late Sunday night.
In a resort defined by its towering high-rises and skyline, elevator rescues are a constant concern. Brooks said he sees about five or six a year.
However, the sheer number of people trapped in each elevator made this unique.
“This was the first it was that many people. Usually it’s 10 to 12 people in a car. These are big elevators,” he said.
Brooks said he is uncertain what may have caused the elevators to malfunction.
“Common sense would tell me they were overloaded. … If I had to guess, that seems logical, but it could have been something else, something with the power or the connections.”
In all, the rescues took about two hours, Brooks said.
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