NY: minor manhole explosion leads to stuck elevators

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Headline: Elevators Fail in Two Towers, Stranding 14 for an Hour [excerpt]

Source: New York Times, 9 Jan 2001

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/09/nyregion/09POWE.html

After an electrical problem froze elevators in two Midtown office towers, firefighters spent yesterday afternoon tearing down walls to rescue people from elevators and carrying elderly people down 50 flights of stairs on makeshift litters.

The 22 elevators in 370 and 380 Lexington Avenue, which are across 41st Street from each other, stopped after an explosion in a nearby manhole about 1:45 p.m., the authorities said. Service was restored at 8:55 p.m., Con Edison said.

Con Ed was still investigating the cause of the explosion, but the rain that washed salt off the streets yesterday was a likely culprit, a company spokeswoman said last night. The salt can corrode electrical cables. "This is a problem that's endemic to all major cities with underground utility systems," said D. Joy Faber, the spokeswoman. She said the lights and appliances were not affected.

Fourteen people were stranded in four elevators for about one hour, said Deputy Chief Michael Butler of the Fire Department. The elevators do not serve every floor, and they were not stuck near doors. So firefighters had to break through walls near the 6th, 10th and 25th floors, Chief Butler said...

-- Andre Weltman (aweltman@state.pa.us), January 09, 2001


Oops, didn't see that this had already been posted below (different source.)

-- Andre Weltman (aweltman@state.pa.us), January 09, 2001.

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