UK

Tube Travellers In Hour-Long Panic After Being Trapped In Lift At Elephant And Castle

02/04/2014 11:46 BST | Updated 02/04/2014 11:59 BST
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UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 03: Passengers queue to enter the Elephant and Castle Underground station in London, U.K., on Monday, Sept. 3, 2007. The entire area has been earmarked for a massive regeneration program due to start in 2008. (Photo by Carl Court/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

It's every commuter's worst nightmare. Around 20 people were trapped in a sweaty lift, listening to a deafening alarm, for more than an hour at Elephant and Castle tube.

Power cuts in London meant lift doors could not open, with passengers telling the Evening Standard that the Transport For London staff at the station had no emergency plan in place to deal with the trapped customers.

Media student Anwen Sheppard tweeted angrily at TfL, saying that she had been stuck for over an hour. "When questioned your staff informed us that there is no protocol on what to do when the elevator doors will not open.

"It took over an hour for emergency services to arrive and your staff only communicated twice with us to update us when we persisted to ask.

"What if there was a fire or security risk? This incompetence has left many of us extremely unhappy and angry.

"We also could not top up our Oyster cards after so could not get a bus back for ages as your bus drivers refuse to accept £10 note."

She also asked the authority to "explain the power supply issue please as all lights, alarms were functioning well. Just the door would not open."

Another commuter, Ed Bradshaw told the Standard: “Some elderly staff tried to prise open the doors, without success.

"Inside, we managed to open the doors enough to jam a fire extinguisher between them and get some air.

"There was no contingency plan and staff didn’t have a clue what to do or what to tell us.

“Goodness knows what they’d have done in a real emergency.

"None of the controls behind a metal panel in the lift, which we tried pressing, had any effect on the situation.”

A TfL spokesman said emergency services were called immediately and that staff kept in constant contact with the passengers. “No one had any problems, or wanted to report any poor customer service,” he said, but apologised to the customers trapped.