Port Elizabeth – It sounded like an iron trolley hurtling down a flight of stairs at high speed and then hitting the ground with an earth-shattering noise.
That is how a police officer at the Mount Road police station in Port Elizabeth, who cannot be named, described the moment a lift, with seven SAPS employees in it, plummeted from the 4th floor to the ground on Wednesday afternoon.
A source told Netwerk24 that the cable might have snapped.
Four of the people in the lift broke a leg or both legs.
Paramedics apparently couldn’t immediately get to the injured, because the lift doors were stuck. Firefighters used emergency equipment to force the doors open.
Eastern Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Marinda Mills said the incident had happened at about 16:00.
“Six female and one male employee were injured. Four sustained fractured legs, while the others were treated for various other injuries.”
She said it wasn’t clear yet why the lift had fallen down the shaft, adding that the incident had been reported to the Department of Public Works.
Workers from a local lift company were also seen at the scene shortly after the incident.
At least five ambulances and four emergency vehicles left the scene in quick succession.
Mills said all those injured were treated at the scene and later admitted to St George Hospital.
Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga said she was shocked by the incident, and wished the injured a speedy recovery. She also emphasised that there will be thoroughly investigation.