Toronto Blue Jays fans get stuck in the Rogers Centre as the entrance to the parking garage floods with torrential rain, in Toronto on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill

Men running out of air before being saved in dramatic elevator rescue

It was a close call for two men in a flooded elevator during heavy rain in Toronto Tuesday evening.

Toronto police mounted a dramatic elevator rescue on Tuesday night while the city was being drenched by a heavy rainfall that caused flash flooding, street closures and several cars to be trapped in flooded underpasses.

Two men had to be rescued from an elevator that was stuck in the basement of a commercial building in the city’s north end.

Police spokeswoman Katrina Arrogante said water had almost filled the elevator before the men were rescued by officers who had to swim down to the basement to get them out.

“The water level has rose to six feet and there was only one foot of air space left for the two males to breathe,” she said, adding that the men were able to keep their heads above water by standing on handrails inside the elevator.

“The two officers answering the call then found a crowbar and swam into the basement location of the commercial building, pried open the elevator and rescued the two males that were stuck inside,” Arrogante told The Canadian Press.

She said one man suffered a hand injury but did not require hospitalization and neither of the responding officers were injured.

Arrogante said the initial call came in at 10:52 p.m. and police were on the scene quickly.

“The officers responded at 10:58, so all within six minutes we were there and able to rescue the two men,” she said.

“It’s actually quite an amazing story and we’re just happy everything turned out in a positive manner.”

The heavy downpour also left numerous drivers stuck in flooded underpasses.

Three cars were submerged in one north-end underpass (near Keele St. and Wilson Ave.) and the police marine unit rescued people from four cars trapped by rising water at a downtown underpass (Lower Simcoe and Bremner). There were no injuries reported.

Related: Toronto’s Greektown community holds vigil for victims of weekend shooting

Related: Ontario Premier Doug Ford to slash size of Toronto city council nearly by half

The downpour also resulted in flooding in the Toronto subway system. Transit authorities said shuttle buses were transporting passengers between the Finch West and Wilson stations in the city’s north end early Wednesday. There was no word on when service would resume.

The deluge also caused problems at Toronto city hall. A staffer tweeted that the roof outside Mayor John Tory’s office was leaking so badly that staff ran out of recycling bins and garbage cans to contain the water.

Environment Canada had issued a special weather statement for the city, saying between 50 and 100 millimetres of rain was expected in some locations, particularly near the lakeshore. The agency said more than 64 millimetres of rain had fallen at Billy Bishop Airport just south of the downtown core in only two hours.

The special weather statement was lifted just before 11:30 p.m. as the heaviest showers moved out over Lake Ontario.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Saanich walks the walk on crosswalk after student lobbied for improvements

Elanor Teel approached first Saanich about the intersection in March 2017

Firefighters across the region swing into the giving season

Local firefighter says it’s about whole community

Salmon runs produce highs and lows on Vancouver Island this year

Chinook salmon did particularly well on the Island this year

Victoria Disability Resource Centre helps people find jobs

Statistics Canada survey found people with disabilities face higher rate of unemployment

Pedestrian scrambles, underground tunnels and other downtown Victoria quirks

The area around the former Eaton’s Centre had some unique ideas

Victoria axe thrower targets world championships

Former pitcher to compete at World Axe Throwing League Championships in Chicago

POLL: Are you giving to charities over the holiday season?

In the holiday rush, amidst the hustle and bustle to find that… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 4, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

Battle over Saanich’s Haro Woods not yet over, says report

Draft management plan calls on Saanich to spend $142,500 to improve area

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

Most Read