A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


Seven students trapped in an elevator at Mt. SAC Student Center

Firefighters rescue students after a two-hour extraction
Gil Mata
Firefighters from Battalion 19 work to free the trapped students at the Student Center.

On Dec. 5, seven students were trapped in the Student Center elevator for two and a half hours before local firefighters rescued them.

The incident was reported to Mt. SAC Campus Safety and Police via an emergency phone located inside the elevator around 5 p.m. by the trapped students. Mt. SAC’s Emergency Management Manager Sayeed Wadud was first on the scene accompanied by members of facilities and Mt. SAC Campus Safety and Police.

Once on scene, Wadud called for the fire department and a service technician to open the elevator doors. “For the first ten minutes (upon) their arrival, the fire department was (unsuccessful) in getting the doors open,” Wadud said.

The service technician was unsuccessful in opening the new elevator doors.

Nearly 90 minutes elapsed before an additional technician was called to assist in unlocking the elevator doors. Students maintained communication and optimism throughout the ordeal.

Simultaneously, SAC leadership and firefighters coordinated a contingency plan to forcibly open the doors if substantial progress was not made. “At any moment when the students felt uncomfortable … even if one of them says I’m not well, we would tell the firefighters to go in and forcibly open the doors,” Wadud said.

When asked what students should do if ever they find themselves in similar situations, Wadud said, “Stay calm. Be aware of what’s going on and what’s around you and communicate immediately to the outside for help.”

President Martha Garica spoke to the seven students trapped in the student center elevator, encouraging them to hold on and that help is on the way.



By 7 p.m., the newly dispatched technician successfully opened the elevator doors, freeing the students. Family and fellow students gathered around the elevator to eagerly greet them.




The reason behind the elevator malfunction remains uncertain, and an ongoing investigation is underway. The elevators will remain closed until authorities determine it is safe to resume operation.

The trapped students inside the elevators did not comment on their experiences during the incident.

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Gil Mata
Gil Mata, Staff Reporter
Gil Mata is a Staff Reporter.

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