77-year-old outraged at being stuck in a lift for two hours
PUBLISHED: 09:34 08 May 2014 | UPDATED: 09:34 08 May 2014
A pensioner has criticised the council's out-of-hours service after she was left stranded and terrified in a lift for more than two hours.
The ordeal started after Rosalyn Simons of Lincoln Court in Bethune Road, Stamford Hill, tried to return home from a friend’s flat in a neighbouring block on Saturday night.
After her lift got stuck on the ground floor, the 77-year-old osteoarthritis sufferer cried for help and a passer-by phoned her friend, who then called the out-of-hours service for Hackney Homes, which manages the estate.
The friend also called London Fire Service, but firefighters were on strike, as well as alerting the police.
Though she said the call was lodged with Hackney Homes at 8.30pm, nobody came to rescue her until 10.30pm – 13 calls after the initial alarm was raised.
Concerned police officers had also called the council service themselves just after 10pm to say they would need to force entry if the lift engineer didn’t arrive soon.
Mrs Simons, vice-chairman of Lincoln Court Tenants’ Residents’ Association, said: “It was diabolical. I was absolutely enraged. I was totally disgusted it took two hours to get me out.
“I put it all down to the out-of-hours service. My friend tried lots of times to get through. At one point she was on hold for 10 minutes.
“Initially I thought the fire service would rescue me but they were on strike so didn’t come. After being there for so long, I was petrified being in that lift even though I knew there were people outside phoning and doing what they could. I ended up having a panic attack.
“I thought I was going to be physically sick. I was on my feet for more than two hours. I didn’t want to sit on the floor as it was filthy. There were cigarette butts and crisp packets.”
A Hackney Homes spokesman said: “We are sorry for the distress caused to Mrs Simons as lift engineers should arrive within an hour. We are looking into this to see what can be done to make sure this doesn’t happ