Mundelein Tower Of Terror: Students Say Elevator Dropped

Aidan CahillStudents were trapped in an elevator on their way to class when it suddenly began to malfunction.

Senior sociology major Batoul Yenice was headed to her typical 12:20 p.m. Wednesday class on the fifth floor of Mundelein when suddenly her normal elevator ride turned into a roller coaster.

During the elevator ride, the button panel went blank and the elevator stopped. Before she knew it, the elevator dropped, Yenice said. 

On its way up, one of the elevators in Mundelein made a sudden stop then dropped several floors, according to Yenice and first-year  Ellie Bertuglia.

“Once the elevator jerked and stopped one of the other passengers in the elevator pushed the alarm button,” Yenice, 23, said. “At this point, the elevator rose to the sixth floor — from there it began its rapid descent down to the third floor.”

Facilities Manager Kana Henning told The Phoenix in an email she was aware of some ongoing issues with two of the cars in Mundelein making sudden starts and stops, but the cars were not dropping floors.

“We have been assured by our elevator contractor who performed inspections on the cars that they are safe to ride while we await repairs,” Henning said. “The repairs have been delayed for a few weeks while waiting for parts and labor to be available and scheduled, but the contractor will be on-site March 31 for repairs” 

Yenice said other students on the elevator pushed the emergency phone button and the school was working to get the elevator to stop on a floor safely. After the initial drop, Yenice said the elevator rose again to the sixth floor and fell again to the third floor. 

Bertuglia, 19, said this scenario was one of her “worst fears” and she and the student beside her were “whimpering.” When the alarm button was finally answered, the students on the elevator had to explain what was happening. 

“When a person answered the alarm button we all started saying we were trapped in a falling elevator to which the person responded that one of the elevators had stopped,” Bertuglia, undecided major said. “At that moment the elevator was bouncing and we shouted ‘no it’s not.’” 

The elevator finally rose to the fifth floor where students were able to get off safely. 

As of April 12, one of the elevator cars experiencing issues was repaired and put back into service. The other car still remains out of service and is awaiting repairs, according to Henning. 

Henning didn’t say how long the repairs would take. 

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