‘I thought I’d be there all weekend’

Brenda Rash was stuck in the lift after hours at Nat West for five hours
Brenda Rash was stuck in the lift after hours at Nat West for five hours
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When cleaner Brenda Rash stepped into the lift with her mop and bucket she thought she would soon be on her way home.

Instead it was five hours and a dramatic rescue later before Brenda, who has a heart condition, walked free from the jammed lift thanks to the combined efforts of her husband Richard, police, fire, paramedics and Net West staff.

NATWEST bank. CLeaner got stuck in the elevator for five hours

NATWEST bank. CLeaner got stuck in the elevator for five hours

Brenda, of Cumberland Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, said: “I was determined not to panic, but at one point I thought I’d be there all weekend.

“I would just like to say a big ‘thanks’ to the police, paramedics and fire brigade. They were so good and did so much to keep me calm.”

Brenda had started work as normal at 4pm last Friday at Bury’s Nat West and by the time she had finished she was alone in the building but thought nothing of loading her equipment into the lift as usual.

“The door closed and I pressed the button but it got stuck between the first and second floor,” she said. “I sat on the floor for a little while — everybody had gone home.”

Even so, she tried pressing the alarm and banging on the door. She could get no signal on her mobile phone.

Meanwhile, Richard was getting worried. “His initial thought was I might have collapsed somewhere,” Brenda said. “He noticed something wasn’t right in the bank because before I leave I turn lights off and he knew the door wasn’t properly locked.”

So Richard rushed to the police station, arriving at 9pm as they were locking up, and they went to the bank with him.

“I was calm until I heard someone calling my name, then I started banging on the door again,” she said.

Even then, it was to more than an hour before the fire crews managed to open the doors, though they created a gap through which they talked to her and passed water bottles.

Two bank staff were called in and Brenda said that seeing them through the gap in the door reassured her. She wanted to return to work on Monday but the bank told her to rest at home and sent her flowers and chocolates.

She returned to work on Wednesday, but did not think she would be using a lift for some time.