Paralegal, 27, was trapped inside a lift for seven HOURS overnight screaming for help ‘as he thought he was going to die’
- Azizul Rayhan, 27, became trapped at the Victory Business Centre in Portsmouth
- The faulty lift triggered an alarm but security staff failed to show up to hear it
- Mr Rayhan thinks he now has claustrophobia and has been referred for therapy
A paralegal who spent seven hours trapped inside a lift overnight and believed he was going to die has described the experience as the ‘most horrible night of my life.’
Azizul Rayhan, 27, went to collect belongings from his brother’s office in the Victory Business Centre in Portsmouth – but got trapped in the faulty lift at around 10.45pm on July 17.
He said he was terrified the elevator would plummet or he would run out of air and suffocate to death.
Mr Rayhan, of Portsmouth, said: ‘It was a very horrible experience. I thought the wires had severed or cut down, and I was going to fall down.
Azizul Rayhan, 27, had gone to collect belongings from his brother’s office in the Victory Business Centre in Portsmouth on July 17 when the incident occurred
Mr Rayhan thinks he has developed claustrophobia and a fear of confined spaces due to his experience in this lift – being so panicked at one point he could not breathe. He has since been referred by his GP for talking therapy
‘I thought something bad would happen to me, like I might even die, because I did not know if there was enough oxygen in there.’
After he had pressed the ground floor button, he said the lift moved slightly but then shuddered to a halt and started shaking.
He then pressed the emergency button to call for help, but no answer came.
‘If it worked, I would have been out of there in 30 minutes or so,’ he added. ‘I was screaming the whole night for help, but no-one was around.’
At one point Mr Rayhan tried to escape by using his keys and managed to prise open the first lift door, but could not open the second as it was too heavy.
He was finally rescued at 5.45am the next day by business centre employee Mark Parratt.
The paralegal said he thinks he has developed claustrophobia and a fear of confined spaces – being so panicked at one point he could not breathe. He added that he has been referred to talking therapy by his GP.
‘I was still shaking when I was rescued,’ he said.
‘I couldn’t talk for 30 minutes afterwards. It was the most horrible night of my life and my mental suffering is indescribable.’
Portsmouth City Council has responsibility for the building, and has apologised to Mr Rayhan, saying a specialist lift contractor checks the mechanism and phone alert system every two months, but both developed independent faults since June
Portsmouth City Council has responsibility for the building, and has apologised to Mr Rayhan, saying a specialist lift contractor checks the mechanism and phone alert system every two months, but both developed independent faults since June.
They confirmed it is now fully working again.
The spokesman said: ‘We fully understand what an awful experience this must have been for this gentleman and have every sympathy with him.
‘The lift malfunctioned and no phone alert was triggered when the gentleman pressed the alarm button.
‘An alarm did ring on-site. The business centre is open 24 hours, but no-one was around to hear this.
‘We hire a security company to make routine visits every night between midnight and 3am. The on-site alarm would normally have been heard by their security guard.
‘The guard failed to make the scheduled visit.
‘We’re urgently undertaking a full review of our contract with the company.’
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