NILES, Ill. – Two cleaning women, trapped inside a broken elevator for two days, survived on two cough drops and six aspirin until they were rescued.
Beata Bartoszewicz and her mother, Roma Borowski, entered an elevator in an empty building in this Chicago suburb on Dec. 22. After the elevator doors closed, the women discovered they were stuck on the first floor of the two-story building.
There was no response from an emergency call alarm and the women couldn't pry open the doors, Bartoszewicz said.
Neither had a cell phone nor water and the building wasn't due to open until after Christmas.
The duo became dizzy from hunger. "I was close to thinking I was going to die," Bartoszewicz said.
The women tried to sleep on their coats and used a corner of the elevator as a bathroom.
Bartoszewicz said her mother continually reassured her.
"She kept saying, 'We're going to be OK, and we're going to spend Christmas Eve at home,"' the 25-year-old said.
Two days later, on Christmas Eve, an employee of the building happened to go to work. Borowski said she heard him talking on his cell phone. The women yelled for his attention and he heard them.
Fire crews freed the women an hour later.
Bartoszewicz said the moral of the story is simple: "Always take your cell phone with you."