It was a moment of pure horror for a group of visitors, when an elevator fell 84 floors, on Nov. 16 at 875 North Michigan Avenue, a Chicago skyscraper, or popularly called as the John Hancock Center, which is the fourth largest building in the Windy City,
Jaime Montemayor, a visitor from Mexico, said, “At the beginning, I believed we were going to die. We were going down and then I felt that we were falling down and then I heard a noise — clack clack clack clack clack clack.”
His wife, Maña Montemayor, added “I knew something wasn’t OK.” Only later would she learn that they had fallen from the building’s Signature Room on the 95th floor to the 11th floor.
They weren’t the only ones in the elevator, there were four other people trapped, including a pair of law students from Northwestern University.
Fear started to grip them all and they all started freaking out but the Montemayors clutched each other and began to pray.
Soon all the others joined in with them and formed a prayer circle, and the prayers began to rise.
To add to their misery, first responders didn’t have an easy way to reach them.
Chicago Battalion Fire Chief Patrick Maloney said, “It was a precarious situation where we had the cable break on top of the elevator. (W)e couldn’t do an elevator-to-elevator rescue. We had to breach a wall.”
Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford added, “We don’t like to have to go through walls unless it’s absolutely necessary.
“The only other way to get to the elevator would have been ropes from the 97th floor, and that would not be safe. We don’t come down like Batman, so we must go through the wall.”
The firefighters finally came through even though the Montemayors’ travelling friend Luis Vazquez found the whole situation astonishing. “This is the second most important building in Chicago and this is the third most important city in the United States?” he asked.
“In the 98 floors, they have no place to open any door? That is the craziest thing.”
It was a real supernatural incident because after three hours, all of the passengers made it safely out, and no one needed to go to the hospital.