PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto got stuck in an elevator at the Westin Convention Center Hotel for forty minutes on Thursday evening, and he wasn’t alone.
“I should have taken the stairs” Peduto told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
“I was taking the stairs and a friend of mine, Jeanne Clark, had the elevator so I had the opportunity to spend forty minutes with the mayors of Leetsdale and Millvale and a worker from the Westin,” recalled Peduto.
This is the blurry image of the five of them stuck including Mayor Pete Poninsky of Leetsdale and Mayor Vince Cinski of Millvale.
Peduto was trying to exit on the first floor lobby.
“You realized that something was wrong when it didn’t stop at 1, didn’t stop at P-1, and it didn’t stop at P-2 and that’s the last floor.”
“And there’s just a loud thud,” Peduto added. “And we all sort of laughed and waited for the doors to open, and they opened 40 minutes later.”
On Friday the troublesome elevator was closed for repair.
The mayor said he had no fear whatsoever on this elevator. Why? Because this elevator was stuck not up high but at the very bottom level.
Delano: “Did you make any phone calls? What did you do? How did you reach out to people that you were stuck?”
Peduto: “We had no way to make a phone call because we were in the sub-basement there. There was no cell service. We sat there for a minute thinking about it and fortunately the worker from the Westin had a walkie-talkie.”
Peduto credits Celeste Boston who works for ABM, a parking management company hired by the Westin, for having a walkie-talkie.
But KDKA found an emergency telephone button on each Westin elevator that we’re told is manned 24/7, and it worked for us.
Voice: “Command center. Is there a problem in this car?”
Delano: “No. We’re okay. We’re just testing the system. Thank you.”
But Mayor Poninsky said in the early evening the button only produced a loud ring.
Of course, with the walkie talkie, help was summoned.
“Thankful when the doors opened. It was getting kind of muggy in there,” said Peduto.
EMS greeted them, the mayor said.
“You know this is EMS Week around the country where we celebrate our EMS workers. I just never thought that I would be one of their people they had to help,” observed Peduto.