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Trapped in a cage--outside the zoo

(This post has been updated)

A family of five was stuck in the elevator at the Cleveland Park Metro station for more than a half hour this afternoon. At 12:45p.m., fire spokesman Pete Piringer sent out an alert that the elevator had broken with the parents and children trapped inside, later adding that everyone was safe and unharmed. It wasn't until just before 1:30 that he wrote that the family was "freed and happy."

The elevator runs up a lengthy shaft from the Metro station mezzanine to Connecticut Avenue near the zoo, and is often used by families with strollers and young children bound to check out the animals--but the family likely expected to be outside, with the animals confined to their cages, not the other way around.

Metro's elevator and escalator outage page now shows the elevator is projected to be out of service for the next two days due to an "incident/accident."

According to Piringer, fire and EMS personnel handle five to eight elevator emergencies every weekday, or about 1,500 elevator emergencies a year.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 12, 2010; 1:10 PM ET
Categories:  Metro, Red Line  | Tags:  Elevators, Escalators  
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The idiots at metro -- from management to desk clerks to operators -- couldn't run a flight of stationary stairs, not to mention a transit system. This is pathetic.

Posted by: Poleman | July 12, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing you mean the Woodley Park / Zoo station. What's Metro's plan for renovating the elevators?

Posted by: dstirba | July 12, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

@distirba Cleveland Park Metro is easier for families with strollers as you go down the hill to the zoo as opposed to up the hill from Woodley Park station. I've done that numerous times when family comes to visit.

Posted by: jwash4472 | July 12, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

It's incredible. At this point, all I can do is laugh, until another person gets killed, that is. Systems like this need accountability to the public. That's the frustrating thing - no one is accountable. It's all finger pointing - we don't have funding, the management is not up to it, and on and on. WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE for this embarrassing disgrace?

Posted by: Trout1 | July 12, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Stating the obvious, this is definitely not a good day for Metro riders is it? First the DuPont Circle escalators go out (all of them) and now this.

Posted by: caplato | July 12, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Reminds me of the following line from the 1937 Three Stooges film "Back to the Woods."

Larry: "We're trapped like rats!"

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | July 12, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Can you say "beleaguered Metro system"?



Posted by: bs2004 | July 12, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

The really frustrating thing is that with all of these elevator and escalator outages, there is no extra hiring of certified elevator mechanics. My brother and some of his friends are such people with the training and certifications to complete the job however Metro will not hire any of them. Is it a budget concern or just idiots running this service???

Posted by: ericroks | July 12, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Gridlock is not specific about the EMS handling "five to eight elevator calls per day." Is that ALL elevator calls--commercial buildings, etc., or just Metro?

Posted by: patturner2 | July 12, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

This is news? It was only half an hour! Write a story if a family is trapped for 6 hours or more.

Posted by: habari2 | July 12, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"This is news? It was only half an hour! Write a story if a family is trapped for 6 hours or more."

That's what I was thinking. I'm sure the family wasn't happy but come on people this isn't that big of a deal.

Posted by: ouvan59 | July 12, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

EMS handles 5-8 elevator emergencies every day. When was the last time you heard of people being trapped on a Metro elevator?

People get a grip. Every Metro problem is not life and death.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | July 12, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

How funny will it be when two trains collide on the orange or red line and kill scores of vacationers from the heartland? That's exactly where Metro is headed. The DC metro is a national shame and embarrassment.

Posted by: HancockJM | July 12, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Seems like a bit of overdramatizing--I've been stuck in airliners on the ground for over three hours...

As to breakdowns and hiring--Metro has no dedicated source of funding, and thus has to beg local governments for funds continually...

Posted by: charlieartist | July 12, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

True, this was not life-or-death, but as much as I believe in public transit, I am reluctant to take Metro because the problems are so frequent and so random. Trapped in an elevator--in a 100-degree Metro car--killed or maimed in a crash. What'll be it today? Statistically I'm sure my chances are better on Metro than in my car, and I'm lucky I don't have to commute into DC, but until Metro improves. . .

Posted by: loco71 | July 12, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Stating the obvious, this is definitely not a good day for Metro riders is it? First the DuPont Circle escalators go out (all of them) and now this.

Posted by: caplato | July 12, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

No. Escalators and elevator outage IS a good day.

Posted by: sugarstreet | July 12, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

30 minutes in a tiny elevator with five people, no air conditioning or breeze from outside in 90 degree weather...Anyone who doesn't believe this is a problem should volunteer to experience it.

Posted by: jdrasin | July 12, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

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