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

Ponoka man faces 95 theft-related charges

Police recover stolen license plates, mail, tools

Ponoka man facing almost 100 charges in relation to tip from public

Christian Singer, 32, facing dozens and dozens of charges

AFSC received 2,300 hail claims from recent storms

Conditions of many fields starting to fall as excess heat, lack of moisture begin to take a toll

Three dead in head-on collision Monday night

Three people were pronounced dead, while a child was sent to hospital

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Ponoka’s Ronnie Racing wins Hot August Night

About 15,000 people filled the Castrol Raceway stands at the motorsports complex

Vintage vehicle subject of RCMP search

Two Hills RCMP seek to identify owner of recovered 1940’s vehicle

Canada’s tax system unfairly favours wealthy, poll of CRA auditors suggests

Four of every five respondents think loopholes and tax credits built into the system benefit the rich

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

The plan would allow for more visitors but wouldn’t let Sunshine build additional facilities

Publication ban lifted on details about Fredericton shooting that killed 4

Judge lifts publication ban on court documents related to the Fredericton shooting

Feds to allow charities to engage in political, but not partisan, activity

The plan is to allow charities to pursue political activities

Trump suggests Canada has been sidelined from latest NAFTA negotiations

Canadian officials have insisted they’re unfazed by being left out of the discussions

Photographer files complaint with police after alleged assault on the job

Toronto photographer says he was attacked while covering a protest

Most Read