Fury after family trapped in station lift

By Laura Payne Thursday 06 December 2012 Updated: 13/12 09:58

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Buy photos » A grandma and grandson were rescued from the lift by the fire brigade. 47.012.033.sol.nc2

A FAMILY outing turned into a nightmare when a grandmother and her six-week-old grandson became trapped in a lift at Dorridge Station.

Karen Hames has slammed the health and safety at the station after her mum Denise Thompson and her baby son Henry were stuck for half an hour.

The traumatic event occurred during what should have been a relaxing day out but the trio, who were supposed to catch the train from Dorridge to Birmingham, didn't even reach the platform.

While Mrs Hames was busy buying tickets for the journey, her mum and son went ahead and got in the lift, but it broke down, trapping Mrs Thompson and Henry inside.

Distraught mum Mrs Hames, who could hear her baby screaming, was astounded to learn the key to open the lift motor room was miles away at the station in Birmingham.

And she told the Observer she received little sympathy from staff in Birmingham although an assistant at Dorridge Station did her best to help.

Mrs Hames said: "I said to the assistant what if it was an old person trapped alone in there? They could have a heart attack and die.

"I was absolutely disgusted and distraught. It's an accident waiting to happen.

"My baby was screaming and my mum could hear me getting hysterical.

"The assistant was young and she was getting no support from her manager on the phone."

With no key at Dorridge Station, Mrs Thompson called the fire brigade and she and her grandson were rescued after thirty minutes.

Mrs Hames said: "Henry is my third child but if he had been my first I would have been even more distraught.

"There seemed to be a lack of a contingency plan and with the health and safety issues it's an accident waiting to happen."

Chiltern Railways, who run Dorridge Station, apologised to Mrs Hames.

In a statement they said: "We have been in contact with Mrs Hames to discuss her experience and to convey our apologies.

"The relevant key for the lift motor room is kept on site. On this occasion the key could not be located; we are currently investigating why this was the case as it had been used during a routine inspection the previous day.

"A replacement was supplied immediately after the incident."

The statement also said the fire brigade is called if the person trapped becomes distressed or if the maintenance company is unable to get there quickly, but in this instance the family decided to call them.

"On this occasion staff were advised that an engineer would be on site within a relatively short time, as both people in the lift were safe, the decision was made that it would not be necessary to call the fire brigade," they added.

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