Woman pulled to safety in dramatic lift rescue at Hampstead Tube station returns to thank staff

Michele Oberst returned to Hampstead Tube station to thank staff. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Michele Oberst returned to Hampstead Tube station to thank staff. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A fashion consultant has returned to Hampstead to thank tube staff who rescued 20 passengers from a sweltering lift which has repeatedly broken down in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, Michele Oberst revisited the Northern line station – the deepest on the Underground at 192ft below street level – in search of two strapping staff members who dramatically hauled her and many others to safety after they became trapped.

The 60-year-old said the workers went well beyond the call of duty by hoisting distressed passengers into the next lift through a special portal after it got stuck on July 23, during the recent heatwave.

She said: “We were stuck for about half an hour, trapped in sweltering heat.

“Two members of staff rode down in another lift and physically lifted all of us from one lift to the other.

“There’s a window that they opened in the side of each lift and carried us across.

“We went across the drop, so to speak, and some of the girls were getting really frightened.

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“If I had looked down I would have been absolutely terrified – we’ve all seen these films where lifts can go crashing down.”

The two men who came to Ms Oberst’s aid were not on duty when she returned to thank them in person.

But Ms Oberst, of Jamestown Road, Camden Town, said: “I take my hat off to them – they were bloody wonderful.

“I just think those guys were absolutely great and I do feel that they did more than they had to.

“It was not in their job description to rescue 20 passengers from a crowded lift. I’m eternally grateful to those guys.”

It emerged this week that two new lifts at Hampstead tube station have failed again and again since being installed three months ago.

Transport for London (TfL) admitted that there had been as many as 20 faults since May although a spokesman said most were quickly dealt with.

He added: “Works have been completed on two lifts and works to the final two are expected to be completed by next year.

“Overall, the new lifts have been operating well and engineers will continue to make improvements until they are functioning more reliably.

“When all works are complete, customers and staff will benefit from the new, faster lifts.”