Venkatesh Bajaj, a 38-year-old businessman residing in Goregaon (West), was inside the lift at Chamunda Jewel CHS, Goregaon (West), with his 67-year-old father, Beni Gopal Bajaj.
He recounts the incident: “I got into the lift on the ground floor to attend the house-warming ceremony of my client, Shashikant Jain. He lives on the seventh floor of the building. I was with my father and a few friends. All of us friends had met after a long time and were busy chatting.
“I saw the lift indicator showing that we had reached the fifth floor. Suddenly, the lift started racing down at an incredibly high speed and then there was a loud thud. I think there were about 10 people in the elevator and all of us let out a unanimous cry – some out of pain, some out of fear.
“There was dust inside the lift and it became very difficult to breathe – especially for my father. The lights went off and we used our cell phones as torches. But nothing helped. We did not know where we were, whether on the ground floor or in the basement. It was a dark, dusty iron cage.
“There was silence for a minute, I think each of us was petrified. Then someone pressed the alarm button and we all began crying and yelling for help. It was a difficult time since we did not know if the people outside the lift could even hear us. I have never felt so helpless before. About five minutes later, help arrived and we were brought out of that suffocating hole.”