Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 09:35
Broken lift leaves 100 elderly stuck in their homes
About 100 elderly people were either stuck in their homes or unable to reach them due to a broken elevator in their Oud-Beijerland apartment building. On Wednesday the fire departed had to hoist people to their homes with a crane. And this is almost a daily problem, AD reports after speaking to the residents of the building on Vierwiekenplein. One resident, 79-year-old Trudy Visser, was not very impressed with the technicians trying to get the lift - stuck between the second and third floor - moving again. "Well, then I must be quick. Because tomorrow it will be stuck again." The elevator has been breaking on an almost daily basis for months. On Wednesday the fire department hoisted residents of the third and highest floor up to their homes with their truck. Among them was a 93-year-old woman. "That poor woman was terrified. You don't want to go through that at that age. She told me she could not sleep after that and now she won't leave the house", Visser said to the newspaper, adding that almost all residents of the building hardly dare leave their house anymore, in case they can't get back in. "We wake up with the fear that the lift will be broken again. We can not live like this and are literally locked up in our own homes", Visser said. According to her, recent advice from the fire department on what to do in case of a fire has all the residents even more afraid. "They said that we have to pick our mattresses off the bed, drag them down the hallway and slide down through the emergency exit. Well, with my 79 years, I can't even get the mattress of the bed." If the elevator situation is not solved quickly, the residents are considering drastic measures, like not paying their rent. "Then you'll see how quickly a new lift will be installed", Visser said. Housing corporation HW Wonen told AD that they are aware of the complaints and the "annoying situation". "We are aware that it can absolutely not continue like this", a spokeswoman said. "Behind the scenes we are working hard on a solution and will have one this week still. The technicians now have the right part for the elevator". The housing corporation will also compensate the residents for this miserable situation, though the spokesperson could not say how yet.