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

Blaze near Olalla grows to 527 hectares

The Old Tom Creek fire that started Aug. 15 is burning near Keremeos

Chance of showers may not be enough to rid Okanagan of smoke

Wind and chance of thunderstorms competing factors in this week’s forecast

Darke Lake residents under evacuation alert

Fire crews battling wildfire in rural community west of Summerland

Second annual Punjabi Mela Festival goes Sunday

Organizers of this year’s Punjabi Mela Festival hoping to top the $15,000 raised last year.

Penticton businessman planning run for council

Jason Cox making “worst kept secret in Penticton” official

Filmmaker captures the smoke that enveloped the Shuswap

Check out this video of the haze that blanketed the Salmon Arm

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark criticizes feds for buying pipeline

The $4.5 billion purchase of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline second worst decision, she said

Williamson the buzz as Vernon Vipers open camp

Talk around training camp Monday at Kal Tire Place was all about Jagger Williamson.

‘Takes more courage to fail’: B.C. ultra-marathon swimmer reflects on cancelled try at record

Susan Simmons halted her swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back because of hypothermia

Animals moved from B.C. Interior shelters to make way for pets displaced by wildfires

The Maple Ridge SPCA houses animals to make space for pets evacuated from B.C.’s burning interior.

Spokane man enlists 500,000+ box fans to blow wildfire smoke back to B.C.

Spokane man Caleb Moon says he’s had enough with smoky skies from B.C.’s forest fires blanketing his city

Feds agree to look at easing jury secrecy as part of review

At issue is a law that forbids jurors from talking about closed-door deliberations

Forest fuel work needed to slow wildfires, B.C. premier says

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan joins John Horgan for tour

Most Read