A woman was rescued Monday after being trapped in the elevator of a Manhattan townhouse for three days, authorities say.
The woman was stuck in the elevator of a townhouse on East 65th Street near Madison Avenue, one block from Central Park, authorities said. The Associated Press reports the townhouse as being owned by a billionaire investment banker from Arkansas.
Firefighters rescued the woman, who worked for the family of the banker as a housekeeping employee, Monday around 10:10 a.m. after receiving a 911 call. Firefighters freed the women after forcing entry into the elevator.
Emergency transmissions indicate she could have been trapped there since Friday; the FDNY couldn't confirm exactly when she got stuck, but did say she was there "over the weekend."
The 53-year-old woman was in stable condition at Weill Cornell Medical Center, according to The Associated Press. She has since been released.
The woman, whose name was not released, told authorities she'd been trapped since Friday while the owners were away for the weekend.
The 911 call came from inside the home. Police sources say a family member of the owners were called to the scene, and a deliveryperson went in and found her in an elevator.
Private elevators in residential homes are required to have at least one annual inspection, and according to city records, the elevator was inspected in July and no violations were filed. The Department of Buildings issued an aggravated violation for failure to provide access to inspectors on Monday after someone inside denied access to the inspectors, and said additional enforcement actions may be issued as well.
The luxury 1920 townhouse is owned by Warren A. Stephens and his wife, Harriet Stephens, according to the AP.
In a statement to NBC 4 New York, Stephens, Inc. — Stephens' investment bank based in Little Rock, Arkansas — said: "The employee involved has been a valued member of the Stephens extended family for 18 years. The Stephens family is relieved and thankful that she is doing well in the hospital. A Stephens family member accompanied her to the hospital this morning and remains at her side. The cause of this unfortunate incident is being investigated and appropriate measures will be taken to ensure that something like this never happens again."
The cause of the elevator mishap is under investigation. Authorities did not know whether the elevator had an emergency button, or whether the woman had a cellphone. According to the DOB, elevators located in building that don't have a building attendant who is continuously available to take action in the event of an emergency are required to have emergency button or phone for communicating with or signaling a service that is capable of taking appropriate action.
Police do not suspect any foul play, but reported incidents of being stuck in an elevator for so many days are rare in New York City.
In 2005, a Chinese restaurant worker was trapped in a Bronx elevator for about 80 hours. And in 1999, a man spent 40 hours in a Manhattan office building elevator before he was seen on a security camera.