Man trapped in office lift all night ‘screaming for help’ is now in therapy

A man who was trapped in an office lift all night “screaming for help” is now in therapy.

Paralegal Azizul Rayhan, 27, thought he would never escape, after he went to collect his brother’s belongings in the Victory Business Centre in Portsmouth on July 17.

It was around 10.45pm when Azizul entered the lift and became stuck – and he spent seven hours trapped inside the lift overnight.

He feared he was going to run out of air and the lift would drop, as Azizul described it as the ‘most horrible night of my life.’

Azizul said : ‘It was a very horrible experience. I thought the wires had severed or cut down, and I was going to fall down.

“I thought something bad would happen to me, like I might even die, because I did not know if there was enough oxygen in there.”

The paralegal pressed the ground floor button but the lift suddenly started shaking and shuddered to an immediate halt.

After becoming concerned he was stuck, Azizul hit the emergency lift button as he tried to seek assistance, but to no avail.

In a desperate attempt to try and leave the lift, he began using his car keys to try and open the lift doors, but failed as it was too heavy.

He admitted if it had worked he would have been out of the lift in half an hour.

“I was screaming the whole night for help, but no-one was around,” he said.

The 27-year-old became so scared at one point he struggled to breathe.

It wasn’t until 5.45am the following day that Azizul was finally released by a business centre employee.

As a result of the traumatic experience, he believes he has developed claustrophobia – a fear of tight spaces – and has now been referred for talking therapy by his GP.

He said: “I couldn’t talk for 30 minutes afterwards. It was the most horrible night of my life and my mental suffering is indescribable.”

When he was eventually rescued, he couldn’t stop shaking. Portsmouth City Council, who has responsibility for the building, apologised to Azizul for his ordeal.

The council said a specialist lift contractor is employed to check the phone alert system and mechanisms every two months.

However, both of them had developed faults since June, as the council confirmed the lifts are now back working successfully.

A spokesman said: “We fully understand what an awful experience this must have been for this gentleman and have every sympathy with him.

“The lift malfunctioned and no phone alert was triggered when the gentleman pressed the alarm button.

“An alarm did ring on-site. The business centre is open 24 hours, but no-one was around to hear this.

“We hire a security company to make routine visits every night between midnight and 3am. The on-site alarm would normally have been heard by their security guard.

“The guard failed to make the scheduled visit.

“We’re urgently undertaking a full review of our contract with the company.”