“Getting stuck in an elevator for an extended period of time” is up there with “falling onto the subway tracks” as one of the top New York City nightmares. This nightmare came true for one woman this weekend — an employee in an Upper East Side townhouse — when she was trapped in her employer’s private elevator for three days.
According to the New York Post, the 53-year-old housekeeper got stuck in the elevator of a five-story private residence at 48 East 65th Street on Friday night. She was not discovered until this Monday morning, when her employers arrived home around 10 a.m. and called the city fire department because their elevator wasn’t working; they apparently didn’t realize that their housekeeper had gotten trapped inside. She was taken to the hospital after firefighters discovered her, and is apparently in good condition.
While the elevator had previously received maintenance violations from the city, it was reportedly inspected last summer and no issues were found. According to public records accessed by the New York Times, the home was purchased by billionaire investor and conservative political donor Warren Stephens and his wife Harriet in 2008, for almost $8 million dollars.
It’s unclear if the homeowners bear any culpability for the incident, although they reportedly received a violation from the Department of Buildings on Monday morning, after they refused to let an inspector enter the house. The inspector later told NY1 that this was the worst situation he’d heard about in all his time on the job. “It’s scary,” he said. “I’m an elevator guy, and I get scared.”
One of the Stephens’ neighbors was notably less empathetic. In a clip uploaded to Twitter, he puzzlingly told the outlet, “A human can last well over 72 hours … without water, and seven days without food,” adding, “What she went through isn’t anywhere close to the limits of human endurance; it’s just beyond what we’re used to, because we’ve become so civilized we’ve lost touch with our true strength.”
Not sure that’s the most compelling argument for humans being overly civilized, but sure.
This post has been updated throughout.