Charlotte Fire rescues wedding guests trapped in Uptown elevator

Crews from the Charlotte Fire Department rescued six people who were attending a wedding in Uptown early Sunday morning.

Firefighters responded to an elevator entrapment call shortly after 1 a.m. at the Grand Bohemian Hotel on West Trade Street with six people inside who were attending a wedding.

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Video posted on social media showed firefighters working to bring the people up the elevator using a rig.

“I was freaking out, not going to lie, it was like you only hear this in movies,” the bride, Victoria Jha told Channel 9′s Hannah Goetz.

The bride was part of the rescue after their wedding Saturday night. They loaded into the elevator at the Grand Bohemian Hotel heading to their afterparty when it happened.

“We got up maybe five feet and then boom, doors kind of stuck,” said Panav Jha, the groom. “The door started to open and so I could see the concrete wall right in front of me, and I could see the concrete wall behind me. I was like, ‘That’s not normal.’”

But before long, they heard the voices of Charlotte firefighters four stories above them, setting up for a rescue.

“So basically what we did as a last resort is we rebuilt a new elevator system using ropes and rescue equipment and overhead anchors,” said Capt. Stephen Pritchard with the Charlotte Fire Department.

Crews rappelled down to save the bride, the groom, and four of their guests.

[I’ll] just express my gratitude and appreciation for taking my husband and I out safely, and the rest of the team and the way you guys did it, it was safe, efficient, and I appreciate you all,” said Victoria.

But while they have a wedding story to last a lifetime, we had to ask: did they make it to the afterparty?

“We did not. The bar closed,” Panav said. “We had great friends who were hosting for us.”

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