A night out at a prominent Connaught Place restaurant turned traumatic for eight friends, when they got stuck for over four hours inside a lift. As staffers at the restaurant, Warehouse Cafe, failed to rescue the men, a call went out to the police from inside the lift, and the men were eventually rescued early Friday morning.
One of the men later approached police, and a case was filed under sections 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery) and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC at Connaught Place police station. “The men got struck inside the lift for around four hours late Thursday night. We rescued all of them after they called police. We registered an FIR against Warehouse Cafe after we received a complaint from one of the men. We are probing the matter and checking documents related to the maintenance of the lift,” DCP (New Delhi district) B K Singh said.
The restaurant owner, Priyank Sukhija, said, “They were the last guests to leave. We followed standard operating procedure. We first called the technician from the lift company, who failed to open the lift in an hour-and-a-half. We then asked the contractor of the building for help. In the meantime, the men inside called police. We get the lift serviced regularly and pay an annual maintenance charge.”
Prabhav Gupta, a Vasant Vihar resident who was stuck in the lift, said, “Seven of my friends and I had gone for dinner to the restaurant. Around 12.50 am, we were coming down when the lift got stuck between the first and ground floors. We pressed the emergency button, and some employees came to help us.” Gupta alleged that the staffers did not call police or fire services, and that the call had to be made by those trapped inside the lift.
“They tried to open the lift door, but weren’t able to. They later called a man who claimed to be a technician, but he failed as well. Instead of informing police, they kept trying to open it themselves,” Gupta claimed. Gupta said that all of them panicked when one of their friends fainted. “We were worried and made a call to the police control room (PCR) around 2.15 am, telling them that we were stuck inside,” he said.
Local police rushed to the spot and tried to open the lift but in vain. The fire department was then called in. “They had to use gas cutters, and we eventually got out around 5 am. We are shocked at the lax attitude of the establishment,” said Gupta, a sales engineer. Gupta said he approached police after a discussion with his friends. According to police, Gupta said the management is guilty of not paying attention towards maintenance of the lift.