After school on Monday, Sept. 9, sophomore Molly Keane spent a half an hour tweeting, sending snaps and laughing with her friends Michelle Checuga and Rachel Parks.
Not too interesting of an afternoon, right?
It might not have been if those events hadn’t taken place while the three were trapped in Prospect’s elevator.
“I can take the stairs if there’s no one [on] them,” said Keane, who had an elevator key because of her injured shoulder, “It’s not like my legs are broken, but I had a really heavy backpack on, and I just wanted to take the elevator.”
Parks and Checuga were reluctant to get in. They didn’t have the difficulties that Keane did with the stairs and they’d heard about the elevator breaking in the past.
They assumed it would be safe, though, because there weren’t any signs warning them against using the elevator.
“There was no one there fixing it,” Keane said. “So, we figured if it was broken, it wouldn’t even open.”
It did open, however, and the girls didn’t think anything was wrong until they noticed a clicking noise on their way down.
When they arrived in the foyer, everything seemed fine until they realized they couldn’t get the doors open.
The events didn’t scare the three (since they were on the first floor, the elevator couldn’t drop them any lower). Instead, it inspired them to tweet, and then call the school.
When Keane first called the school, she got a recording from the attendance office, so she redirected her call to the nurses office and had the nurse, Cheryl Novak, call maintenance.
For 15 minutes, the maintenance staff tried to open the door as Keane, Parks and Checuga sat on the floor and tried to ignore the rising temperature. When it became apparent that the maintenance staff couldn’t help, they told Keane to use the elevator’s phone to call 911.
The fire department showed up, and after a final round of being shaken by crowbars and drained by heat, the elevator’s doors opened. The trio got out, and various staff members greeted them with water bottles and sent them home.
“At first we were freaking out,” Keane said. “[We were thinking things] like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re going to be in here forever!’, but after a while, we were like, ‘No. This is funny. We’re going to laugh at this.’”