• Sunday, August 14, 2022

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Portsmouth: Man, 27, trapped in lift for seven hours thought ‘he was going to die’

Azizul Rayhan, a paralegal, has since been referred by his GP for therapy

Representational image (iStock)

By: Pramod Thomas

A Portsmouth man trapped in a faulty lift has believed that he was going to die as no one answered his screams for help, media reports said. He described the incident as the ‘most horrible night’ of his life.

Azizul Rayhan, 27, went to collect belongings from his brother’s office in the Victory Business Centre in Portsmouth on July 17 when the unfortunate incident happened.

Rayhan pressed the ground floor button then the lift moved slightly but then shuddered to a halt and started shaking, he told reporters.

“I thought the wires had severed or cut down, and I was going to fall down. I thought something bad would happen to me, like I might even die, because I did not know if there was enough oxygen in there. If it [the emergency button] worked, I would have been out of there in 30 minutes or so,” the paralegal was quoted as saying by newspapers. “I was screaming the whole night for help, but no-one was around.”

He told the MailOnline that he had developed claustrophobia following the incident. He has since been referred by his GP for therapy.

Rayhan was finally rescued at 5.45 am the next day by business centre employee Mark Parratt.

Portsmouth City Council, which has responsibility for the building, apologised to Rayhan. A specialist lift contractor checks the mechanism and phone alert system every two months, but both developed independent faults since June, it said, adding that the council is urgently undertaking a full review of the contract with the company.

“We fully understand what an awful experience this must have been for this gentleman and have every sympathy with him. The lift malfunctioned and no phone alert was triggered when the gentleman pressed the alarm button. An alarm did ring on-site. The business centre is open 24 hours, but no-one was around to hear this,” a spokesperson told MailOnline.

“We hire a security company to make routine visits every night between midnight and 3 am. The on-site alarm would normally have been heard by their security guard.”

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