A former maintenance worker for elevator manufacturing company Schindler Japan stopped occupied elevators at five different buildings between June 28 and Aug 2 to make trouble for the company because he was having trouble with his bosses, it has been learned.
Officials of the Swiss-based company apologized at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday and said the 36-year-old employee was fired on Aug 5, Fuji TV reported.
According to company officials and police, the ex-employee used a key given to maintenance workers to stop elevators on seven occasions in buildings in Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture. In some cases, elevators were stopped for up to 45 minutes. A woman, trapped in one of the elevators, became ill and had to be taken to hospital but otherwise, there were no injuries.
Schindler said the reports of elevators suddenly stopping began on June 28.
The case came to light when the Schindler employee himself got stuck in an elevator in a love hotel in Ibaraki Prefecture on Aug 2, Fuji reported. When the front desk called him to ask if he wanted them to contact the elevator company (Schindler), the man said no, after which he got out himself.
That incident prompted Schindler to investigate how the man got out. The company learned that he had been using the emergency elevator key and had been taking control of the safety mechanisms inside the elevators.
The man, who is being questioned by police, said he hated the company after he was demoted in June and wanted to make trouble for them.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has requested that Schindler carry out an immediate safety check on every elevator that the ex-employee was assigned to for maintenance work since June.© Japan Today