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“I saw my life go by”: three employees working on the Eiffel Tower stuck in the middle of the night in an elevator

It was the fright of their lives.

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“I saw my life go by”: three employees working on the Eiffel Tower stuck in the middle of the night in an elevator

It was the fright of their lives. During the night of Friday February 16 to Saturday February 17, three employees of a fire protection company, Deep Isolation, who were carrying out insulation work on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, found themselves stuck for several hours in the he elevator of the south pillar of the Parisian monument reserved for staff, reports Le Parisien . “We had just finished our shift so we were on our way home when the elevator got stuck between the first floor and the ground floor. We stayed there from 3:50 a.m. to 8 a.m. until help was sent to the scene and evacuated us,” says Singh Gagandip, one of the raiders. Panicked, the three employees, suspended 30 meters high, believed they were experiencing “their last moments”.

Ten days after the incident, the latter says he is experiencing these traumatic scenes. “When you look from below, you have the impression that it’s nothing, but it’s paralyzing from above, especially when you’re dizzy like me,” he assures. Especially since we suffered four huge tremors. I saw my life passing by and one of my colleagues really thought it was the end,” says Singh Gagandip. Who had to wait for the intervention of firefighters from the Research and Intervention Group in Perilous Environments (Grimp) in order to rappel down with his comrades.

The cause of the technical problem? A problem in the elevator rolling system which was “burst”. Nothing to worry about the Eiffel Tower operating company (Sete) a few months before the Olympic Games: “Our elevator has anti-lifting systems and parachutes which retain the cabin in the event of an incident. (...) Which means that he would never have come off the hook.” And to better reassure its visitors that the elevator “has traveled 8,760 km in 2023” and “makes around a hundred trips per day”. “Which is very significant. However, its availability rate, over the same year, was 99.7%. It almost never breaks down.”

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