Man visiting Chicago jail gets trapped inside for hours

CHICAGO -- A visitor to Chicago's county jail was trapped there for 30 hours over the weekend, and authorities are investigating to find out what went wrong, CBS Chicago station WBBM reports.

It happened in one of the jail's maximum security divisions when the Chicago man went to visit his son.

He went into a visiting room that was not being used, and the door was propped open by contractors installing cameras.

"Unfortunately the door locked behind him," said Cara Smith, executive director of the Cook County Jail.

She said the man was trapped from about 6 p.m. Saturday until about 1 a.m. Monday.

"For approximately 30 hours - a very, very long time by any measure," Smith said.

Smith said the man pounded on the door but in a maximum security division the walls and the doors are thick.

Finally, she said, he broke a ceiling sprinkler head, and the fire department came. Smith said he had to go to the hospital to get stitches in his thumb.

The county sheriff's office is investigating why the door was left propped open and why someone didn't realize the man never checked out as a jail visitor.

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