Binit Agrawal

Lift Up or Fall Down?

In Bizzare fact of the day :o on September 15, 2009 at 10:16 AM

False Fact: Elevators have killed or can kill when their cable snapped

There is a small element of truth to this “fact” – but we will get to that soon. Firstly, elevators usually have a minimum of four operating cables, as well as an inbuilt braking system and a backup braking system in the shaft which forces a wedge into the shaft to prevent too rapid a drop. If the cables were all to snap (and believe me, elevator cables are strong), the cars braking system would detect the free fall and automatically apply. If that also fails, the shaft’s braking system takes over. Now, the small element of truth I mentioned earlier is that there has been one recorded account of a complete elevator free fall; it was caused by an airplane which crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945. The crash caused the cables in the elevator to be weakened – ultimately leading to them breaking. The person riding the lift, (Betty Lou Oliver) survived the 75 floor free fall because of air pressure beneath the car. (Courtesy Listverse)

So the next time you get onto an elevator, lifting yourself up against the gravity or going down in harmony with it, don’t get the slightest fear of what will happen if the cables break off, however high the building is.In the first place thy won’t, and if they do, there are better things to take care of it.

P.S.: (Don’t spill this out if you are in the lift with someone you fancy as that would spoil all the fun 😉 )

  1. I’m really relieved to know it, really! thanks 🙂

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