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Six hurt as Tower Bridge lift crashes to the ground

PUBLISHED: 15:38 11 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:21 05 October 2010

EMERGENCY services rescued 16 people—most of them tourists—when a packed lift crashed to the ground at Tower Bridge. Ambulance paramedics were treating the injured at the scene after the lift car crashed on its way up and fell back down, hitting the bottom of the shaft

By Mike Brooke

EMERGENCY services rescued 16 people—most of them tourists—when a packed lift crashed to the ground at Tower Bridge.

Ambulance paramedics were treating the injured at the scene after the lift car stalled on its way up the north tower, then crashed back down, hitting the bottom of the shaft.

Several tourists had leg and ankle injuries, while unconfirmed reports say the lift-operator broke a leg in the crash.

The London ambulance service sent two quick response’ medical teams and its specialist hazard’ unit to the scene as well as three emergency ambulances.

BRIDGE CLOSED

Three of the injured have been taken by ambulance to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and three to St Thomas’s in Lambeth.

Police closed the bridge immediately after the lift crash at 1.10pm. Emergency fire crews were brought in from Whitechapel and Bethnal Green fire-stations to rescue those trapped in the lift.

The lift had just started going up when it suddenly jolted 10ft off the ground and crashed back down, the City Corporation confirmed this afternoon.

MYSTERY CAUSE

“We don’t know why it suddenly faltered,” said a Corporation spokesman at the scene.

“The doors opened automatically when it hit the bottom and we managed to get the people out.”

The lift was taking the visitors from the street up to the high-level walkway connecting the two towers above the Thames when it crashed. Ten tourists managed to walk away unhurt.

Tower Bridge was reopened to traffic at 2.55pm, nearly two hours after the accident.

The iconic cantilever bridge, built in 1894, is one of Britain’s most famous tourist attractions, alongside the Tower of London.


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