Read Part 1 here
(This is a tough call – being trapped in the lift for 40 hours!)
I guess it was a matter of being in the wrong place (malfunctioned elevator) at the wrong time (lunch time lah).
In the crowded elevator, I stood at the side which was a blessing in disguise as I could feel the cool breeze from the elevator ventilators. Those standing right in the centre were not fortunate though.
Everyone in the elevator was silent – some were smiling, others seem to be saying prayers in silence. One of us talked about the earlier joke about malfunction elevator and everyone started to laugh. More jokes followed and for a moment there, I almost forgot that we were trapped in an elevator. 5 minutes may have passed and we heard someone trying to “unlock” the doors. Good, help is on the way – we just need to hold on for couple of minutes and we will be out.
Another 5 minutes had passed and we were still trapped in the elevator. By now, we could hear our colleagues’ voices on the other side. The response from them does not look too good – apparently we may need to wait another 30 minutes before they could get us out. By now, we noticed it was getting warmer inside the elevator and there is less laughing. True, getting stuck in an elevator during lunch time was no laughing matter. We were both anxious and hungry.
“Go to the back!” someone from the outside suddenly shouted.
“Oh great, they are going to blow out the elevator doors with dynamites” was the thought that I had when I heard it. I imagined a SWAT team taking over the rescue operations and after a futile attempt to open the elevator, conventional way, they have decided to stick several C4s on the door and blow it up.
“Go to the back!” we heard it again. The problem was the elevator was so full; we hardly had any space to go back. We squeeze as much as possible and provided a small space up in front. I was already calculating that at this rate, the front line will be taken out when the rescuers blow up the doors.
Thankfully that it did not happened. The doors slowly opened…
4 strong hands pried open the doors – there must been at least 7 security guards on the other side. Whilst 3 of them hold back the doors, the others reached out their hands to pull the trapped ones out. Being gentlemen, we decided to allow the ladies to be rescued first. As the ladies were being rescued, my mind started to wonder off – the scenes from the movie “Speed” flashed in my mind and I still left wondering where the SWAT team is.
The ladies were rescued and it was the men’s turn. There was no rush to queue up to be pulled up but for some, ahem like me, hunger was getting better of judgement. I inched closer to the entrance and 2 big strong arms reached out to me. We were stuck almost between the walls, so it was not easy to find the right footing. I had to actually place my leg higher, unbalancing myself and be at mercy of the hands that is reaching me. One slip of the hand will cause me to land back on my back.
Thankfully, one strong pull was all needed to get me out from the elevator and back on “solid” grounds.
Once I was out, I started to feel dizzy and there was a very strong pain on my right side of the stomach. I found breathing getting more difficult. I quickly grabbed the stairway handle for balance and tried to breathe slowly. I must have strained my stomach “muscles” when I was pulled. I was in pain as we walked towards the car and the pain persisted the whole day long (indirectly showing how “healthy” are my stomach muscles, sigh)
After this incident, I used the staircase to the parking lot – I did not want another episode of trapped in the elevator. Not another episode of muscle cramps as well.