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Calgary Tower reopens to public 4 months after dramatic elevator rescue

Calgary Tower reopens after elevator malfunction
WATCH: The Calgary Tower has reopened, months after a dramatic elevator rescue forced the closure of the popular attraction.

The Calgary Tower reopened to the public on Tuesday, four months after firefighters performed a high-angle rescue to remove eight people trapped in a broken-down elevator.

The elevator was taking visitors to the top of the popular tourist destination around 9:30 p.m. on July 12 when it came screeching to a halt.

Jessica Dube, who was aboard the elevator at the time, told Global News it started shaking.

“We heard like fireworks on the top, almost a crashing sound,” she said.

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

Dube said the elevator dropped once before they called a technician, and a second time about 90 minutes after that.

“When the technician tried lowering it — essentially he didn’t even warn us when it was about to happen — and it just dropped again, and we literally all dropped to the floor ready for impact,” Dube said. “I thought I was going to die.”

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A photo of cables in the Calgary Tower elevator after the rescue on Friday.
A photo of cables in the Calgary Tower elevator after the rescue on Friday. Courtesy: Matthew Hamilton

The operation to rescue the stranded passengers took four hours, according to the Calgary Fire Department, during which time people inside were harnessed and pulled though a scuttle hatch. The group was then lowered through the hatch of a second elevator parallel to the secured elevator before being taken to ground level.

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

In a statement released on Tuesday, Blaine Coupal, CEO of Thyssenkrupp Elevator Canada, said they conducted a “thorough and comprehensive inspection of the elevator system” following the incident.

The elevator has since been repaired by Thyssenkrupp and is now back in service.

A sign posted at the doors of the Calgary Tower on Sunday.
A sign posted at the doors of the Calgary Tower on Sunday. Carolyn Kury de Castillo/Global News

“Safety is and always will be of utmost importance, and we have taken every precaution to ensure the elevators are in full operating condition,” Coupal said.

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The Alberta Elevating Devices and Amusement Rides Safety Association, which regulates elevator systems in our province, has inspected and certified the elevators to be ready for public operation.

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

“We look forward to welcoming our many local and international visitors and remain committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience as our highest priority” Calgary Tower general manager Katie Urness said in a statement.

The Sky360 restaurant atop the Calgary Tower also opened to the public on Nov. 12.