Hotelier survives four days trapped in tiny lift

2013-04-23 00:00

A HOTEL owner in Austria said his military training helped him survive when he was trapped for four days in his deserted hotel without food, water or heating.

Swedish-born Thomas Fleetwood (58) was doing a final check at the Hotel Eden in the Austrian ski resort of Bad Gastein when the tiny one-person lift broke down as he travelled down from the fifth floor.

He had left his mobile telephone in his office and as he lived alone there was nobody to raise the alarm.

He said: “The lift has never broken down before. I just hadn’t expected anything to happen.

“I broke a small glass panel at the front door of the lift and that gave me some fresh air, and tried to take off the roof of the lift to climb out, but that didn’t help either.”

In the end, a friend who had noticed mail piling up outside the hotel used a spare key to enter the building, discovered what had happened and raised the alarm.

Fleetwood said: “It was foolish to have gone in the lift in an empty hotel without a mobile telephone, but I am proud of myself that I didn’t panic and used my military training to get through.

“I would talk to myself and was making my plans for the future while I was stuck there.”

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