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Elevator outages leave some southeast Calgary apartment renters feeling trapped

Click to play video: 'Elevator outages leaving some southeast Calgary apartment renters feeling trapped in homes' Elevator outages leaving some southeast Calgary apartment renters feeling trapped in homes
WATCH: Ground water flooded the elevator shafts at Radisson Place apartments in Calgary back in June and since then, residents with mobility issues say they’ve been stuck in their units for hours at a time. Michael King reports. – Oct 15, 2019

Renters living at Radisson Place Apartments in southeast Calgary are raising concerns about two malfunctioning elevators in the building.

Jeremy Hildenbrand uses a wheelchair and said that there have been problems with the elevators since he moved in three years ago.

But since water flooded the elevator pits in late June, the problem has gotten worse.

“Now, all of a sudden, it’s daily,” said Hildenbrand on Monday. “Sometimes it’s two hours, sometimes for eight hours. A couple of nights ago it was 12 hours.”

Hildenbrand said he’s one of many mobility-challenged residents in the building who are being severely affected.

“I haven’t left my apartment in over a week because I’m afraid I won’t be able to get back,” said Hildenbrand.

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The building is managed by Minto Apartments, which is based in Ottawa.

George Van Noten, a senior vice-president with Minto, said in an email that the company is aware of the problem but is having difficulties finding a solution.

“This has been a recurring issue since flooding caused damage in late June,” said Van Noten. “Unfortunately, continuous groundwater seepage in the elevator pit is causing safety issues for our service provider as they work to resolve the problem.”

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

Hildenbrand said the elevators were down for hours over the Thanksgiving long weekend, but the outages are always intermittent, making it hard to make plans.

“It makes it far worse because you don’t know when you can leave,” said Hildenbrand. “You don’t know when you can get groceries. We have to have other people go shop for us.”

Van Noten said on Tuesday that repairs were completed on one of the elevators, but a permanent fix was not in place.

“I can confirm that Elevator 1 at Radisson Place is now operational,” said Van Noten. “Technicians were able to identify the issues with Elevator 1 over the long weekend and work is underway to complete the repairs.”

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Hildenbrand said he isn’t hopeful that the elevators will remain operational.

“They tell us Monday, ‘We’ll have it dealt with,’ and it’s dealt with for an hour or two then the elevators no longer work.”

The Calgary Fire Department said a safety code officer has been working with Minto throughout the outages and is aware of the delays to the repairs.

Elevator company thyssenkrupp said in a statement that it’s working on a solution.

“Thyssenkrupp has been made aware of the elevator service interruptions at Radisson Place in Calgary as a consequence of the equipment’s exposure to water and is working with building ownership on a framework for completing associated repairs,” it said in an email statement.

“The safety of the riding public is our top priority and we will continue to do everything within our power to help ensure a safe riding experience for the tenants, staff and guests at Radisson Place.”

None of the organizations or companies involved were able to give a timeline on when both elevators will be fully operational.

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