Top government officials trapped in lift

| 25/11/2010

(CNS): The chief officer from the Portfolio of Internal Affairs and the chief immigration officer were both trapped in an elevator that malfunctioned on Wednesday evening after a visit to the Cayman Islands Law School. The Fire Service was called out to release Franz Manderson and Linda Evans and four others from the law school when the lift was trapped between two floors. Local activist, and more recently PPC student, Sandra Catron, said the two government officials had given a guest lecture at the law school on immigration law. Catron, along with Manderson and Evans, as well as three other students were stuck in the elevator for more then 40 minutes before officers were able to release them. (Photo Dennie WarrenJr)

Catron pointed out that the emergency call button in the elevator went through to a service centre in the USA, where the operator was unable to help as she did not recognize the Cayman Islands location. Catron said she turned, to her Blackberry and was able to message several people and ask for assistance. Luckily, those people contacted the authorities, who were then able to send the emergency services to assist.

“I’m delighted that we were all able to get out safely,” Catron said. “Everyone remained calm and totally professional. In fact, at the time we made light of the situation as I updated my Facebook status.”

She added that the Fire Service was very professional. “I think at times like this you really appreciate that department; which often goes unseen and underappreciated. The one constructive comment I would make is that local elevators should have their calls routed to a local monitoring company and not overseas. This would allow for faster rescue efforts and a better understanding of where the personis located,” Catron told CNS.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Elevator Owner says:

    Who does the elevator maintenance?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Government Work Increases 10fold While Key staff Locked in Lift.  Film at 11.

  3. Anonymous says:

    There is a joke in here somewhere (ha ha)…anyone care to expound..I am laughing so hard I can’t type it!….Sandra Catron, Franz Manderson and Linda Evans along with four others from the Law school.  hmmm someone just say it!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Nothing new here. It has long been a government policy that if anything appears to be wrong then an outside expert who does not even know where Cayman is must be called.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are other departments in government that do their job and the public are ignorant of what they do. But when it hits the fan, then expectation and demands are made when they are not supported properly in the first instance.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Who cares!

  6. S. What says:

    I too was stuck in anelevator recently. At the Glasshouse. Here is my story;

    I calmly forced the doors open, climbed out and walked down the stairs, out of the building and got on with my life. At no time did I call the local media towrite my story or in fact even Dennie Warren Jr. to take a picture as I came out.

    I moved on with no fuss or fanfare.

    One day I will write a book about it, or maybe sue someone. Who knows.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lucky for you! When you are caught between floors with an elevator that was starting to drop it’s a whole other matter, however.

      I agree that the calls should be routed locally. 40 minutes is a long time with 6 people using up the limited supply of air in the elevator!

      Coodos for highlighing another area of improvement Sandy!

    • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

      No person in the elevator called me to take pictures of them.  I saw Sandra’s broadcast on Blackberry Messenger saying she was stuck and I went to the scene because I chose to go.  More importantly, I care what happens to other people.

      I get the impression from your comments that you believe everything is okay with elevators in the Cayman Islands, so there is nothing to worry about.  In most cases that’s true.  Yeah, most cases…

      • Magnum PI says:

        If the general public were allowed to exercise their basic human right to carry a firearm this situation could have been avoided. They could have blasted their way out or used their piece to attract attention.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Next time, use the stairs. It is better for your health and very often faster than the elevator.