Students freed from stopped elevator caused by power outage

The SF Fire Department and SF State officials make contact with, and free, two of three students stuck in elevators in Burke Hall Monday April 18, 2011. The campus experienced a nearly campus-wide blackout during a "PG&E regional shutdown affecting about 2,400 customers", according to a SF State emergency alert email. Jon Weiand / staff photographer

An unknown number of people are trapped in an elevator in Burk Hall after the power went out across the SF State campus from the Humanities building to Creative Arts.

The San Francisco Fire Department has closed off most of the area above and below the elevator.

The power went out at approximately 11 a.m.

Update 12:07 p.m.: According to the SF State emergency notification system, the power outage is due to a PG&E regional shutdown affecting approximately 2,400 customers. Power is expected to be restored by 1:15 p.m. Most campus buildings are without power. Some classes have been cancelled, but some are still in session.

Update 12:51 p.m.: Fire fighters have freed the three people who were trapped in elevators in Burk Hall for 45 minutes due to a power outage that is currenly affecting approximately 2,400 Pacific Gas and Electric co., customers.

“It was really scary. I just panicked,” said 30-year-old biology major Tiffany Davis. “I don’t even know what I was thinking.”

Davis was stuck alone between the basement and first floors. Two other students were trapped in an adjacent elevator between the third and fourth floors. Fire fighters pried open the doors and assisted the passengers from the elevators, according to Taylor Harraman, 21, a junior communications major.

University officials are conducting a search of the other buildings to ensure that no one else is trapped, said SF State spokeswoman Ellen Griffin. An email alert went out about an hour after the power initially went out.

Power to some of the buildings has been restored, including the administration building.

When fire fighters arrived at Burk Hall they asked Jake Perrea, dean of the College of Education, to clear the area around the elevators from students and press—partially because they wanted space to work, but also because Davis said she was feeling ill and they did not want to invade her privacy.

“We heard her yelling a little bit and I was like, ‘it’s all right, we’re right next to you,'” Harraman said. “I was pretty calm.”

The third student who was trapped, a male, left immediately after being released and has not been identified.

It was not only the University that was affected by the power outage, but also Stonestown Galleria and Park Merced.

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