Firefighters rescue cricketers trapped in elevator

Seven cricketers trapped in an inner-city Wellington apartment elevator for nearly two hours were rescued by firefighters who cut a hole in the wall above the lift to free them.

Although the matter is still being investigated and the group could face charges, Wellington police Constable Matthew McKenzie said the group's antics at the Tory St apartments appeared to be a ''perfect storm of alcohol, stupidity and males''.

Thought to be members of the Eastern Suburbs cricket squad, the group, six men and a woman, became trapped in the lift around 8.30pm last night but were out by 10.30pm. They would not comment. 

It is understood they had been at a party in the building and several of them were carrying and playing guitars.

Mr McKenzie said the group had offered differing versions of events including that they had pushed all the buttons, jumped up and down and that the lift had simply stopped. 

However, elevator company Kone had called emergency services because they suspected the fault had not been caused by mechanical failure, he said. 

Two fire crews used a high-angle rescue technique by dangling ropes down to the hatch from the top of the lift shaft while a hole was cut above the lift's top hatch in the wall as two firefighters on extendable ladders helped the stranded cricketers out. 

The lift was stuck between the first and second floors. Damage to the lift shaft is expected to be costly to repair.

Police advised the group to rehydrate after their ordeal with water, not beer.

The Dominion Post