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Lift plunges 200ft down shaft at Hampstead Tube station

PUBLISHED: 14:10 11 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:41 07 September 2010

Roger Juer outside Hampstead tube, after his elevator ordeal

Pics: Jonathan Goldberg

Roger Juer outside Hampstead tube, after his elevator ordeal Pics: Jonathan Goldberg

Jonathan Goldberg 07958 229 037

TERRIFIED passengers were given the fairground ride of their lives when a lift at Hampstead Tube Station plummeted almost 200ft down a shaft. The group of around 15 commuters in the faulty lift screamed with fear when it suddenly dropped without warning d

TERRIFIED passengers were given the fairground ride of their lives when a lift at Hampstead Tube Station plummeted almost 200ft down a shaft.

The group of around 15 commuters in the faulty lift screamed with fear when it suddenly dropped without warning down the deepest lift shaft in London on Sunday shortly after 10pm.

Roger Juer, 63, was trapped in the lift during the accident, which he says was like something from a Hollywood horror movie.

"It was the most frightening thing I have ever experienced," he said.

"The girls in the lift were screaming and several of us thought that was it. We thought the lift was going to smash into the ground. I tried to bend my knees a bit so my legs might not break when we landed."

Luckily the lift pulled up just before the bottom of the shaft, but even when it reached the platform level the frightened passengers remained trapped inside for several minutes.

A telephone in the lift was tantalisingly visible behind a locked panel, which couldn't be opened, and although they banged on the alarm button there was no response from staff at the station.

After the group had been hammering on the lift walls and screaming for help for several minutes the doors eventually slid open and they rushed out to the platform.

"When we got out of the lift we tried to contact the station control room through the communication system but there was no response," said Mr Juer, of Adelaide Road, Swiss Cottage.

"A few of us decided to climb the stairs - all 300 of them - which is quite a lot when you're 63.

"When we got to the top we found three station staff, who didn't seem to be terribly bothered.

"I was so shocked by the whole thing that I was like a zombie the whole of the next day."

Mr Juer got out of the station as quickly as he could and made it to the Flask pub in time for last orders to calm his nerves.

"It's not acceptable - and it's not the first time there have been problems with the lifts in this station. Transport for London need to reassure passengers that if there are problems they will be able to contact staff to tell them something is wrong."

The Ham&High contacted Transport for London but they were unable to comment at the time of going to press.

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