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

Baby, it’s nasty outside: wind and rain will continue across Vancouver Island

Police warn drivers and pedestrians to use precaution during expected rain and winds

Ladysmith Maritime Society wants to be known as the Friendliest Marina on the Coast

Group marks 33 years of marine preservation and community

John murder trial at Duncan courthouse on pause until spring

John is charged with the May 2016 murder of 20-year-old Derek Descoteau

Ladysmith proving once again, it’s a small town with a big heart

It takes a town full of volunteers to ensure no child goes hungry

Prosecution in Colin John murder trial wrapping up in Duncan

John on trial for stabbing death in Chemainus in 2016

B.C. businesses evacuated due to emailed bomb threat, also received in U.S.

Penticton and Comox Valley businesses evacuated Thursday morning

No plans yet for free WiFi on BC Transit buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Sex-assault squad investigated eight incidents at Toronto all-boys’ school

The interim president of a Roman Catholic all-boys school rocked by student-on-student abuse allegations said the football program was cancelled for next year.

Coal power in Canada must disappear by the end of 2029, new regulations say

Canada has significantly cut its dependence on coal largely due to the closure of all coal plants in Ontario.

‘Naive approach’ to China at fault in Meng mess: Scheer

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called on the Trudeau government to “unequivocally denounce any type of repercussions to Canadians on foreign soil.”

Omar Khadr ‘a model of compliance,’ wants changes to bail conditions: lawyer

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr is back in court today to seek changes to bail conditions.

Police respond to alleged bear-spray threats in Vancouver Island park

A number of Comox dog owners have reported their off-leash dogs being threatened with bear spray

B.C. man linked to human remains probe gets absolute discharge on unrelated mischief count

Curtis Sagmoen was in Vernon Law Courts Dec. 13 for a mischief trial

Most Read