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A group of first-year students found themselves in a jam last Sunday, requiring emergency assistance after being trapped in an elevator.
On 22 February, the opening night of the University’s new Katharine Jermyn Hall, 24 residents piled into one lift causing it to overload and the door to lock.
Fire Services were called to the newly refurbished office block at 10:15pm and were forced to cut power in order to pry open the lift, freeing approximately 15 students who had been trapped inside the elevator for about 20 minutes.
Two of the students had to be treated by ambulance services for respiratory distress, having passed out from a lack of oxygen within the small lift space.
The story was published by the Dominion Post on Monday morning. Salient understands the University were not made aware of the incident until seeing the story.
Victoria University’s Director of Campus Services Jenny Bentley assured Salient that hall lifts are “regularly checked and maintained” and pointed out that “stairs are also available for students to use.”
VUWSA’s Welfare Vice President Madeleine Ashton-Martyn responded to the incident, “I mean if you’re gonna pass out somewhere during O-Week we definitely prefer it to be inside the house. We’re the cool mom students’ association.”
Quickly shifting in serious mode, Ashton-Martyn the said that “it is genuinely really concerning that they were trapped in there though. Student safety is incredibly important to us, from being trapped in lifts to getting home at night from class.”
Bentley also expressed the University’s concern for keeping students safe, noting that “a reminder is being given to students in halls about the carrying capacity of the lifts as part of the comprehensive safety and health information we provide to new students.”