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6 trapped for hours in elevator at Chicago high-rise rescued

CHICAGO — Firefighters broke through a wall in one of Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers to rescue six people who were trapped in an elevator.

The Chicago Fire Department responded early Friday following a report that the six visitors, including a pregnant woman, were trapped at the 875 North Michigan Avenue building, formerly called the John Hancock Center. Officials say the visitors had just left a restaurant at the 100-story building.

Battalion Chief Patrick Maloney says it was a “pretty precarious situation” because some cables were broken on the elevator. He says crews went through a wall more than 10 stories above the ground from a parking garage. He says it was an express elevator, so there weren’t door openings at each floor.

A friend of the people who were rescued said they were stuck for about three hours.

“At first we thought they were on the 96th floor but after 20 minutes they found they were on the 12th floor,” said Luis Vasquez. “The company for elevators said they lost one cable, so we were afraid that they have no security of the cables.”

Maloney says the rescued visitors were safe and “gracious.”

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