Woman rescued from elevator at Chevron building describes ordeal

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by Rucks Russell / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 5 at 12:37 PM

HOUSTON -- An elevator mishap that led to a harrowing rescue last month has a survivor nursing a broken foot and emotional scars that have not healed.

“I wake up in the middle of the night crying about this,” said Leslie Williams, one of three women who boarded the elevator at the downtown Chevron office tower in early February.

According to Williams, the women got stuck on the 39th floor and pressed the emergency intercom for help.

After about 30 minutes of waiting, they started to grow concerned.

“We started panicking thinking it’s been way too long,” said Williams.

Then the elevator started to move up very slowly.

"Before we could blink our eyes, it went from zero to 60 in a matter of seconds and we crashed into the 50th floor," Williams said.

The impact slammed the women into the ceiling and then back onto the floor.

They huddled together and began to pray.

After about an hour and a half, firefighters arrived and lowered a ladder through the elevator’s escape hatch.

Williams said the women climbed up one by one and stood on top of the elevator. From there, firefighters guided them across a narrow grate and onto the top of a neighboring elevator, where they began their ride back down.

“I tried not to look down,” said Williams. “It was horrifying.”

Attorney Jason Gibson has filed a lawsuit, blaming Chevron for the accident that left Williams with a broken foot.

"Things like this don't happen unless someone has dropped the ball with respect to maintenance, and that's exactly what happened in this case,” said Gibson.

Chevron Spokesman Kurt Glaubitz released the following statement:

"We have not seen the suit and therefore cannot comment on its allegations. The safety and well being of our workforce is our top priority at Chevron."

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