40 Hours In An Elevator

Thousands of people use the elevators at the McGraw-Hill building every day without incident, but when an elevator door closed late Friday night, it was the start of a horrible ordeal one employee could not have foreseen, reports Correspondent Lou Young of CBS station WCBS-TV.

The nightmare began at about 11 p.m. ET Friday, while Business Week production supervisor Nicholas White was working late, and decided to take a cigarette break.

The elevator got stuck between floors of the 51-story Rockefeller Center skyscraper, with White inside. He kept calling for help, but no one answered. He said the elevator is equipped with both an emergency alarm button and a surveillance camera.

Nick White told CBS News that he became terrified when his calls for help went unanswered.

He also banged on walls, pushed every button and tried to escape through the elevator ceiling.

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Elevator Fears?

White was trapped without food - and without a toilet - for a total of 40 hours, until he was rescued Sunday morning.

Building management blames a power voltage dip lasting one-tenth of a second that held the elevator stationary just above the 13th floor.

Rockefeller Center officials were still trying to figure out how White could have remained unnoticed for so long.

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