Terror as skyscraper lift plunges 84 floors with six people inside - then halts just 11 storeys from the ground

Sophie Williams
Rescue crew open the door to pull out six people trapped in an elevator: REUTERS

A lift in famous Chicago skyscraper plummeted 84 floors towards the ground with a group of diners inside it.

Six people including a pregnant woman were inside the lift in the 75 North Michigan Avenue building when it malfunctioned, sending it hurtling towards the ground.

The passengers are said to have just left a restaurant on the 95th floor of the skyscraper when one of several cables holding the lift broke and the car fell rapidly.

But miraculously everyone on board survived when the lift came grinding to a halt just 11 or 12 storeys from the ground.

Cracked door of an elevator with six people trapped inside is pictured as the rescue crew try to open it (REUTERS)

50-year-old tourist Jamie Montemayor told CBS Chicago: “I believed we were going to die.

“We were going down and then I felt that we were falling down, and then I heard a noise: clack clack clack”.

One passenger, a student at Northwestern University, said that people inside began to scream and cry.

They were stuck in the lift on Friday for two and a half hours as firefighters struggled to reach them.

Eventually firefighters broke through a wall more than 10 stories above ground from a parking garage to reach the people who were trapped inside.


Chicago Fire Department Battalion Chief Patrick Maloney said that one of the cables snapped. Other cables were still attached, preventing the lift from plummeting to the floor.

He said: “It was a pretty precarious situation where the cables that broke were on top of the elevator.”

The lift and two others will be closed until repairs are made and officials carry out an investigation.

A Chicago Buildings Department spokesman told the Tribune that the lift had last been inspected in July and that the cause of the cable's malfunction would remain under investigation.