After entering an express elevator at approximately 11:00 p.m. on October 15, 1999, Nicholas White, an employee of the building, became trapped after a brief power dip caused the elevator to stop between the 13th and 14th floors. Despite signaling an alarm and surveillance video being inside the elevator cab, White was not rescued until approximately 4:00 p.m. on October 17, nearly 41 hours later, after security guards spotted him in the surveillance cameras.
On April 14, 2008, The New Yorker uploaded a 3-minute, 11 second-long video to YouTube, accompanied by Jennifer Haines’s The Storm Begins titled Trapped in an Elevator for 41 Hours. The video is a sped up version of White’s time in the elevator and also shows the surveillance footage from the other three elevators. On April 21, 2008, the magazine wrote a full detailed story on White’s experience in the elevator, by Nick Paumgarten, who titled it Up and Then Down. As of April 2015, the video currently has more than 8.5 million views. The video has since been renamed as “Trapped in an Elevator – Notes from All Over – The New Yorker”.
After the video went viral, Nicholas White was interviewed on Good Morning America and also spoke to the Associated Press. In his interviews. he talked about the horrific ordeal that he went through and revealed that he still takes elevators, jokingly saying that because he still lives in Manhattan it would be impossible for him to not use them.
Trapped in an Elevator