Students trapped in newly installed lift

Wits Vuvuzela journalist Mfuneko Toyana was one of two students who were trapped inside a lift in University Corner Building for nearly three hours on Monday night. He recounts his experience here: 

UNDER CONTROL: Service supervisor, Dylan Gibson was on duty today sorting out the "teething problem" that saw, Wits Vuvuzela journalist Mfuneko  Toyana stuck in the lift for close to three hours yesterday. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

UNDER CONTROL: Service supervisor, Dylan Gibson was on duty today sorting out the “teething problem” that saw, Wits Vuvuzela journalist Mfuneko Toyana stuck in the lift for close to three hours yesterday. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

University Corner’s notoriously unreliable elevators struck again on Monday.

This time the newest lift, installed in a building that was almost condemned to demolition a few years ago, trapped two students inside for close to 3 hours.

The unexpected malfunction of the ultra-modern lift, a far cry compared to the two other battered lifts that service building, was compounded by a human malfunction.

[pullquote align=”right”]The emergency phone button and emergency bell inside the lift yielded no results[/pullquote]

The lift technician called in to perform the straight-forward rescue told Wits Vuvuzela that he was twice given the wrong address, arriving at Braamfontein Centre two times before eventually finding his way to University Corner after 7pm.

Campus Control officers who were on the scene blamed Property Infrastructure and Management (PIMD) for the mix-up resulting in almost a 2 hour delay in reaching the lift.

Mkhacani Maluleke of Campus Control said that after the students had phoned Campus Control the matter was handed over to PIMD, who interacted with lift company Schindler from there on.

Maluleke and two other Campus Control officers arrived at the scene about 40 minutes after Wits Vuvuzela journalist Mfuneko Toyana and Drama for Life student Thoriso Moseneke used a cell phone to report the lift had become stuck on the 20th floor.

The emergency phone button and emergency bell inside the lift yielded no results, and the students resorted to calling from a cellphone as well tweeting about their plight, spawning the hashtag #freefuni in support of the two marooned Witsies.

It was nearly three hours later at 7. 10pm when Toyana and Moseneke where finally freed and thankfully driven home by Campus Control.

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