Cape Town – Seven women were reportedly trapped in a lift at a mall in KwaZulu-Natal for nearly two hours due to load shedding on Tuesday.
The group was rescued by the local fire and rescue team after the lift jammed in The Atrium shopping centre in Eshowe central business district, uMlalazi Local Municipality said in a statement.
“The victims were rescued with the assistance of emergency services and one of the defence department workers, Staff Sergeant Moholo. Moholo is part of the Health Outreach Programme rolled out by the Department of Defence in local schools and communities.” the statement read.
Although the incident was unfortunate, uMlalazi Fire Chief Officer, Xolani Blose said it could have been avoided by placing notices warning customers not to use lifts during scheduled load-shedding times.
Mayor Queen T Xulu applauded the swift reaction by the local Fire and Rescue team and assured the public that her municipality was giving the incident the attention it deserved.
“While we are going to robustly engage the centre authorities on the precautionary measures that could have been exercised, we also urge the community to exercise caution whenever they intend to use lifts. Our emergency reaction units will be on standby to ensure the safety of the locals,” Xulu said.
Last month, EWN reported that more people were getting stuck in elevators due to load shedding.
According to EMI Elevators owner Rob Senekal, increased load shedding levels made it hard to keep, the report said.
“It’s impossible like, for instance, there is no way we have enough staff to manage stage 6… we find ourselves in a very serious situation where we sit with the elderly or medical problem in a lift and it’s a little bit deeper than getting somebody off the lift.” the report quoted Senekal as saying.
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Picture: Facebook/ UMlalazi Municipality
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe