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February 6, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Santiago metro elevator

ElevatorcomposedKen Erickson writes:

This Santiago, Chile elevator contains a button that must be held down in order for the lift to move. Once you take your hand off the button, the lift won't move, and you're trapped in the glass box.

Local station personnel say they often have to rescue stranded and frightened people from this lift.

A station attendant said, "The first thing I have to do to get them out is to unlock the door, then climb in and calm them down."


Are you saying that if I push the button, let go, then push it again the elevator won't move? Or are you saying that people are letting go of the button and not remembering the instructions?

Posted by: T-Bone at February 6, 2007 12:34 AM

Wait, If you let go it wont move again if you try to press the button again?

Posted by: Cameron at February 6, 2007 09:32 AM

That's crazy if it is like T-Bone says about it being that if you let go and try to push it again. That is a horrible design flaw. It is worth a LOT more to buy a new one than not allow the firefighters to do important jobs.

Posted by: Cameron at February 6, 2007 09:35 AM

I get the impression that it would indeed work fine if the button was pushed again, but folks either assume it works like any other elevator and don't read the instructions or because of language issues can't read the instructions. Either way, they push the button and start down only to release it and end up stuck.

I wonder what percentage of the people stuck are foreign tourists. I note that there isn't any signage in English, which most Americans have come to expect.

Posted by: Erich at February 6, 2007 01:19 PM

If it doesn't start moving again if you press the button again, then that is way, way broken.

If it does start moving again, then why does someone have to climb in every time? They could set up an intercom system to just tell the person "Press the dumb button again"...

However, in reality, the whole thing is broken, why in the world do you need to keep pressing the button? I'd accept having to just press the button once and let go, to activate the elevator, but not to have to keep holding it down.

As for the comment about most Americans expecting other countries to post things in English.. why the heck not? In America apparently learning the typical language of English is not required, so there are signs, directions, almost everything now that have at least English and Spanish. Why can't we expect other countries to do the same for us?

I actually think learning English should be a requirement for being a citizen of the U.S., and screw all the multiple language silliness on everything here, but that's just me...

Posted by: Memnon at February 6, 2007 01:57 PM

WOW! That is by far the worst elevator I've every seen. First, the aforementioned pushing-the-button problem. Also, that is a really small elevator by my standards

Posted by: dahobo at February 6, 2007 09:20 PM

Two things:

1. I wish that woman's bag was not in the way.

2. There appears to be a fold-down seat in there. How far does this elevator go?

Posted by: krs804 at February 7, 2007 04:55 PM

I think the larger version of the photo is broken. I clicked the picture, a new window opened, and the lower picture is almost completely cut off. I turned off IE's auto-photo resizer, but it didn't make any difference.

Posted by: jkinn at February 14, 2007 02:07 PM

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