NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Five people were trapped inside an elevator at a Light Rail Station in Union City, N.J. for over two hours before being rescued Tuesday.
Three adults and two children became stuck on an elevator between the top and bottom of the station on Bergenline Avenue at 48th Street just before 11 a.m.
Mechanics and NJ TRANSIT personnel originally tried to get them out of the elevator and the delay in calling for help may have added to the time they were trapped, according to Union City Mayor Brian Stack.
“The regional fire department, Union City EMS and Union City police should’ve been contacted the moment those people were stuck,” Stack told 1010 WINS’ Rebecca Granet.
As rescue crews worked to get them out, the real feel temperature outside was 89 degrees, and officials said there was no air conditioning in the elevator, CBS2’s Steve Langford reported.
“They were very calm when they came out. You could see they were suffering from a lot of heat trauma,” said Stack.
Members of the fire department said there may have been up to an hour delay before North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue were called to lend a hand, Granet reported.
While NJ TRANSIT said the elevator failed at 10:55 a.m. and it called Union City Police Department at 11:15 a.m. Union City police said they didn’t get a call until 12:21 p.m. and North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue said it didn’t get a call until 12:07 p.m., Langford reported.
Crews lowered another elevator down and transferred the passengers onto that second elevator around 1:50 p.m.
“We immediately put them on stretchers and chairs,” Stack said.
All five people were taken to the hospital, but Stack said it doesn’t appear any of them suffered any injuries.
Stack said he has already ordered the police department to investigate what happened with the response.
“You have somebody in an elevator, you have a dangerous situation, you have to notify the whole municipality and the regional fire department. It only makes sense,” Stack said.
NJ TRANSIT said it worked in coordination with local first responders according to emergency protocols.