The incredible story of the woman who fell 75 storeys in a lift (and survived)2 min read
This incredible woman probably had to defy the laws of gravity after she survived a fall of 75 storeys trapped in an elevator.
This is the stuff of nightmares for lot of people, but miraculously, Betty Lou Oliver managed to avoid death and survive this terrible event.
Betty Lou was working as a lift supervisor at the Empire State Building, when the building was disastrously struck by a bomber plane in 1945.
The astonishing survivor was working on the 80th floor of the tallest building in America on this day, July 28 1945, when the B-25 Mitchell Bomber ploughed into its side. Betty Lou was in her car when the plane struck the 79th floor, causing her to be catapulted out of her vehicle.
It’s already a wonder she survived this first part as she suffered severe burns as well as horrifically, a broken pelvis, back and neck.
She recalled to press at the time:
“I had just started down from the 80th floor, and then there was a noise above me and then a great block of machinery came through the top of my car.”
Betty Lou was treated at the scene by first aid workers and then sent down in the lift to the main floor. However, as little did the employees know, the cables on the elevator had been weakened after the crash, they snapped from the weight of the lift and poor Betty Lou hurtled 75 stories down to the basement, to what should have been a certain death.
Yet incredibly, she managed to survive the absolutely terrifying ordeal and her plummet still stands as the longest survived elevator fall in the Guinness World Records.
Investigators believed Betty Lou made an extremely lucky escape, after they realised the 300 meters of cable had fallen to the bottom first, therefore softening the impact. The rapid compression of air is also believed to have helped provide a cushion on landing.
But in any case, five months after her accident, brave Betty Lou amazingly re-visited the building with an elevator inspector, who praised her bravery in riding the lift to the top.
And it seems fate was definitely on her side that day…
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