After rescue, Calgary Tower restaurant employee says it’s not the first time elevators have had problems

Click to play video: 'Calgary Tower closed as investigation continues into dramatic elevator rescue'
Calgary Tower closed as investigation continues into dramatic elevator rescue
WATCH: The Calgary Tower remains closed to the public after eight people had to be rescued Friday night. Tomasia DaSilva has more on the investigation, plus claims from one employee that the elevators have been plagued with problems for months – Jul 15, 2019

The Calgary Tower remains closed following a frightening incident on July 12, which resulted in a dramatic high-angle rescue.

Eight people were in an elevator, heading up the tower when the elevator stalled and then dropped several floors.

“I felt helpless like a rat stuck in a cage,” Matthew Hamilton told Global News on Sunday.

“Especially when we got into the elevator shaft, it didn’t even have escape ladders or nothing. I was terrified for my life.”

The group was eventually freed in an elaborate rescue by firefighters, but the entire ordeal took about four hours.

WATCH: Calgary Tower shut down after elevator rescue: ‘I thought I was going to die’

Haylee Klassen just missed getting stuck. She’s a dish washer at Sky 360, the restaurant at the top of the tower. She said the elevator has been acting up for a while.

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“A few months back, I got stuck in the elevator after it had originally broke,” Klassen said Monday.

“Every time I get on I think, ‘OK, is this going to be the day that it crashes?'”

A Sky 360 employee tells Global News the elevators at the Calgary Tower have been acting up for a while. Global News

Calgary Tower officials did not respond to claims the elevators have been problematic, however, they have apologized to the group and the other visitors who had to take the stairs to exit the building.

In a statement, they also said: “An investigation of this incident began immediately. It involves the Alberta Elevating Devices and Amusement Rides Safety Association (AEDARSA), which regulates elevator systems in our province. It was determined as part of the initial response that two of the six cables used by that elevator separated, triggering one of the multiple elevator safety systems.”

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Witness photo of elevator cable at the Calgary Tower. Courtesy: Matthew Hamilton

In Alberta, elevator systems are strictly regulated, adding that they all have to have a back-up system, and in the end, their plan worked as intended, officials said.

READ MORE: 8 people rescued after being trapped in elevator at Calgary Tower

AEDARSA confirmed to Global News that the Calgary Tower elevator was inspected in July 2018 and that it undergoes quarterly maintenance.

It said that under the Safety Codes Act, elevators are subject to inspection once every two years at a minimum.

AEDARSA said the elevator will remain out of service until repairs are made and it is deemed safe.

Klassen said she may avoid the elevator for the next little bit — and take the stairs.

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“How many stairs is it to get up there? I think about 802.”

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