News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 6, 2013

PHOTO UPDATE: Woman safely rescued at Cayuga power station after ordeal trapped in outside elevator

Sue Loughlin and Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

CAYUGA — After a long evening trapped inside a stalled construction elevator, a woman

was rescued safely at about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, high above ground at the Duke Energy power station in Cayuga.

Rescuers from Sugar Creek Fire and Rescue pulled the woman from the elevator to the roof of a building after she had been trapped about 170 feet above ground, said Bob Spence, Vermillion County Sheriff.

“The woman has been rescued,” Spence said. “It’s over.”

The elevator was not far from the roof of the power station, said Angeline Protegere, a Duke spokeswoman. The elevator is attached to, but outside, the building.

The woman, a contractor for Duke, “was safe within the cage of the elevator” during the five hours before being rescued, Protegere said.

The woman trapped in the elevator was “calm, cool and collected,” Spence said. Through much of the time she was trapped, Sugar Creek rescue officials were talking to the woman and providing her with water, food and ice, the sheriff said.

Construction is under way at the power station, Protegere said. The woman was at the plant as part of those operations, she said.

Originally, efforts were made to repair the elevator and bring the woman to safety that way, Protegere said.

Earlier in the evening, Spence said the woman was safe and unhurt during the ordeal, and that the elevator was locked in place. Because of that, instead of immediately conducting a rescue operation, officials decided to call an elevator repairman from Vincennes.

If the elevator quits working, safety devices lock into place so the elevator won’t fall, Spence said.

Other agencies on the scene included the Cayuga Fire Department, Vermillion County Sheriff’s officials and Vermillion County EMS.