Calgary Tower (www.youtube.com image)

Firefighters rescue eight people trapped in Calgary Tower elevator

CALGARY — Firefighters had to rescue eight people trapped inside a stuck elevator at a well-known Calgary landmark on Friday night.

Batallion Chief Alistair Robin says a cable on one of the elevators at the Calgary Tower broke, and the car stopped about 12 storeys up.

Firefighters and elevator technicians decided to keep the car stationary and remove the passengers.

They used a harness to pull the passengers up through the elevator’s scuttle hatch and then lower them down through the hatch of a second elevator that was positioned parallel to the broken lift.

Robin says no one was injured and everyone was then lowered to the ground.

Patrons in the restaurant at the top of the tower walked down the stairs, or were carried down the stairs by firefighters.

“Our technical rescue team does do this type of training on a regular basis,” Robin said, although he noted it isn’t typical to rescue passengers that way from an elevator.

“I can imagine that it was probably pretty unique and maybe thrilling to some, but probably quite frightening to others.”

Robin said crews were at the scene for a total of four hours.

Building maintenance staff and specialized technicians were left to resolve the problem with the elevator, a news release from the Calgary Fire Department said.

A representative for the Calgary Tower could not be immediately reached Saturday for comment.

The Calgary Tower is 190.8 metres high and was built to celebrate Canada’s centennial anniversary in 1967. It was completed in 1968.

According to the tower’s website, it was the first in the Western provinces designed to withstand earthquakes.

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