Cleaner trapped in broken lift for two days until family raise the alarm

Police rescue woman, in 50s, from Margate Adult Education Centre in Kent after relatives raise concerns 

Chiara Giordano
Thursday 09 May 2019 10:57
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Margate Adult Education Centre in Hawley Square, Margate, Kent.
Margate Adult Education Centre in Hawley Square, Margate, Kent.

A cleaner was left trapped in a broken lift for two days until her family raised the alarm.

Concerns grew after the woman in her 50s, who has not been named, had not been seen since the afternoon of Friday 3 May.

Her family contacted police on Sunday afternoon and she was found by officers that same day in a lift at the council-run Margate Adult Education Centre in Kent.

Police managed to manually prise the lift open and free the woman, who was taken to hospital as a precaution.

A Kent Police spokesman told The Independent: “Kent Police received a report at 12.42pm on Sunday 5 May regarding concern for a woman in her 50s who had not been seen since Friday afternoon.

“While carrying out enquiries, officers found the woman had become trapped in a lift in a building in Hawley Square in Margate.

“Officers were able to manually open the lift and free the woman, who was taken to a local hospital as a precaution.”

The Health and Safety Executive has been made aware of the incident.

While the building is owned by Kent County Council, Kier Facilities Management is responsible for the cleaning and maintenance.

The council said it had launched an immediate investigation into the incident alongside Kier and that the woman was being given support.

It said in a statement: “Kent County Council received a report on Tuesday 7 May concerning an incident at Margate Adult Education Centre over the previous weekend.

“Kier Facilities Management, which is responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of the building, reported that a member of its cleaning staff had been trapped in a lift.

“KCC and Kier have launched an immediate investigation into the events which is currently progressing; we are unable to comment further until the investigation is complete.

“We are assured that Kier is providing support to the individual for what must have been a stressful ordeal.

“The council will be working with Kier to ensure that the person concerned continues to be supported and any lessons are learnt from the incident.”

A Kier spokesperson added: “We are offering full support and counselling to our colleague at this time and are conducting a full investigation into this incident.”

An HSE spokesperson said: “HSE is aware and making initial enquiries. It’s too early to say there will be a HSE investigation.”

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