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Is It Possible To Survive In A Falling Elevator And How To Do It
Is It Possible To Survive In A Falling Elevator And How To Do It

Video: Is It Possible To Survive In A Falling Elevator And How To Do It

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Video: How to Survive a Falling Elevator, According to Science 2023, February

How to survive a falling elevator

Fall in the elevator
Fall in the elevator

The fear of falling in an elevator is not uncommon for city residents. It lies at the heart of myths about possible escape routes and fuels the interest of inquisitive minds to seek realistic options that would help them survive.

The likelihood of rescue in a broken lift

The cab design provides various options for emergency deceleration and stopping, however, this does not guarantee complete safety. The result of the accident depends on:

  • from height;
  • serviceability and deterioration of the mechanism;
  • passenger actions.

The first emergency braking system was developed and commissioned by Elisha Graves Otis. The flat spring, through which the lifting cable was passed, straightened under the weight of the falling elevator and got stuck in the notches located along the edges of the elevator.

The Otis spring has become the prototype of modern catchers. They are installed on a counterweight or a cabin, capture the guides and prevent the structure from breaking, regardless of which floor the accident occurred. High-speed and high-speed elevators are equipped with soft braking safety devices to reduce the risk of an emergency stop of the mechanism. The same systems are installed in medical institutions. If there is a hallway, a corridor or a living room under the mine, then two safety devices are used to enhance safety, which, in turn, are activated after the speed limiter has been triggered. It receives a signal that the maximum permissible speed is exceeded and blocks the movement of the winch.

Elevator catchers
Elevator catchers

After activating the speed limiter, two mutually opposite safety plates are firmly compressed, holding the elevator car on the guide rail or winch in the shaft

All lifts are mandatory equipped with such safety elements, so the very probability of falling remains low. In each case, the danger grows:

  • with severe wear of the elevator mechanisms, including after the expiration of the service life;
  • exceeding the permissible carrying capacity;
  • unreasonable behavior of passengers: rocking the cabin, bouncing.

During an accident, the chances of surviving are largely dependent on the height of the fall. The higher the cabin is, the faster it will accelerate and hit the bottom of the mine harder. The speed reaches 70 km / h or more, which is comparable to the movement of a car on a busy highway. In this design, the human body is in free fall, therefore, when it stops abruptly, it takes a powerful blow.

Already on the third floor, the risk of injury in the event of a fall in an elevator increases. With each new flight, the danger increases - fractures and severe bruises of soft tissues are practically inevitable. Unsuccessful body position during landing of the cabin contributes to a compression fracture of the spine. The higher the height, the less chance of salvation.

How to escape if the cabin flies down

A common recommendation in this situation is to jump a second before colliding with the base of the mine. Inspired by Hollywood stories, this theory breaks down on physical laws and reality, which prevents the moment of the jump from being determined. This action, in turn, is performed to slow down the fall of the passenger himself. But do not forget - a person moves at the same speed as an elevator. Having pushed off the floor, it reduces this indicator by 3-5 km / h, which does not help with the average movement of a broken cab of 75-85 km / h. In addition, jumping in free fall, you risk hitting your head against the ceiling and create additional conditions for multiple injuries.

Elevator jump
Elevator jump

Jumping in a falling elevator won't help you avoid injury - it's a myth

Another option is to sit on bent legs. It is assumed that the natural mobility of the joints cushions shock and preserves the spine. It can save it when falling from a low height - 1-2 flights. But even then there is no guarantee against dislocation or fracture of the leg bones. At the height of the 10-15th floor, this situation will aggravate the possible consequences!

The instructions for operating the elevator in emergency situations recommend squatting, grouping and resting your hands on the floor. At the same time, the body is in a semi-relaxed state. If there are handrails in the cab, grasp them firmly. These tips are also relevant for lifts in low-rise buildings.

Emphasis crouching
Emphasis crouching

At low altitude, the crouch will help to compensate for the force of the impact from the fall.

The third and most effective rescue option in a falling elevator is to lie on the floor, trying to occupy as much area as possible. This will distribute the force of the impact evenly throughout the body and reduce the likelihood of fractures. But this method has disadvantages:

  • soft tissues will still be damaged;
  • the brain will be under the blow - it is difficult to avoid a concussion, even if you fold your arms under your head or hold a bag;
  • at the moment of a collision, the floor of the cab can fall apart, causing deep cuts and fractures;
  • because of the state of weightlessness in which a person falling in an elevator is, it is quite problematic to cuddle up to the floor.

Despite all these nuances, experts consider such a decision to be the most realistic, from the point of view of their own chances of survival in a falling elevator.

In some sources, it is recommended to lie on your stomach, face down, but if you collide with the bottom of the mine, this can lead to internal injuries, fractures of the chest and facial bones, since at the first moment you will be pressed to the floor at high speed.

Falling in an elevator lying on the floor
Falling in an elevator lying on the floor

When the cabin falls into the shaft from a low height, you can lie on your stomach, but you should put your head on crossed arms or a bag to soften the blow a little.

Video: the only option to survive in a free-fall elevator

It is almost impossible to avoid injury after an elevator falls. At the same time, the very probability of this fall is small, thanks to the technical equipment of the lifts with safety gears and speed limiters. If the cabin still falls down, it is better to lie on the floor, placing one hand under your head, and covering your eyes with the other from falling fragments.

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