Young girl and her grandparents rescued from stalled Kennedy Center elevator

A young girl and her grandparents visiting the Kennedy Center scored front row seats to an unexpected adventure Sunday: being hoisted out of stranded elevator.

The elevator stalled between floors under the Kennedy Center’s terrace level before a Sunday afternoon show, requiring specialized rescue crews to rappel 30 feet down a shaft to make contact with the family.

DC Fire and EMS rescues a family from a stalled elevator. (Courtesy D.C. Fire and EMS)

“While most elevator rescues are fairly simple operations, this was more significant, because this elevator was in what we call a ‘blind shaft,’ not easily reachable by ordinary means,” D.C. Fire & EMS spokesman Vito Maggiolo told WTOP.

Over the course of an hour, the three were lifted to safety using a harness and pulley system designed for operating in a confined space.

Medical personnel found them all to be in excellent condition, requiring no further medical attention.

The child’s mother later tweeted her thanks to rescue teams, saying her daughter and parents were about to attend a performance of “Aladdin.”

“So grateful for your help! Too bad they missed the show,” she said.

“While they didn’t get to see the magic carpet, they got a unique ride of their own,” Maggiolo said. “We’re happy that we were able to go them to safety unharmed, and it’s the kind of unique rescue that our special operations teams are trained for.”

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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