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An ordeal similar to Rajkummar Rao’s ‘Trapped’ in real life


A 29-year-old woman identified as Shona Dias Daniell, a communications manager by profession, seemed to have had an ordeal similar to the one that Rajkummar Rao had in his movie ‘Trapped’. What started off as an escapade to meet friends seemed to have taken a turn for the worse as the woman, trapped on the 39th floor of a high-rise building in Mumbai, screamed and banged walls in a bid to get help seemed to have found herself in a bit of a spot.

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While reciting her ordeal of being stuck in the World One building in Lower Parel to a local newspaper, Daniell said, “Around 9 pm on Tuesday, I was going to visit my friend Hannah Perella, a teacher at Poddar School, at her home on the 39th floor. My Ola driver dropped me off at the World One building location. I’d been here before and the lobby was exactly as I’d remembered it — well-furnished and swanky. A suited bellboy led me to the lift behind the reception. Around 9.30 pm, I got into the lift and wondered what would happen if I got stuck here.”

“When I stepped out of the lift, I realised I was not only on the wrong floor, but also in the wrong building. There were two flats in front of me, the doors of which were locked and covered with plastic, with walls on either side. I turned around to take the lift, but it had already shut. There was no way to call it back as the space where there should have been buttons, there were only two holes. When I turned back, I saw the walls, the doors and no emergency exits.”

She panicked. “I began shouting and banging the lift doors with my hands and my umbrella. Ten minutes into that, I knew it was a lost battle. I started crying; thank god, I had some water with me. I had two phones, too, but none of them had any network. I even tried yelling into the holes of the lift buttons, hoping someone, somewhere would hear me. But to no avail.”

“Around 40 minutes later, I gave up and sat on the floor. Then, I heard footsteps from behind one of the walls adjacent to the lift. I started banging the wall and shouting, and a building worker, who was on his way downstairs, heard me. What I saw as a wall, was in fact a door on his side, with a knob. He was talking to me, assuring me that he’d get help. I asked him to not leave me alone, so he sent two other workers to get help from below. In the meantime, he started working on unlocking the door from his side, and opened it,” said Daniell, adding, “However, my wait was also laced with apprehension. What if this man did something to me? I’d found a stick and was prepared to strike if I had to. Fortunately, he turned out to be a very nice man, who then led me to the other side of the building, and into another lift. I finally came down around 10.18 pm.”

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She also told Midday, “By this time, a crowd which included security guards, had gathered at the reception. Livid, I asked the bellboy why he even allowed me to go up. He said he thought I wanted to go to the 8th floor, which was occupied. Then, I called my friends to come and take me to their home. I was covered in dust and had hurt my arm really badly, thanks to the banging.”

The ordeal took place late on Tuesday night. The next day she got a call from the manager of the Lodha Group. “He apologised, but said that I’d entered the wrong building because I was supposed to go to Lodha Crest and not World One. But where are the buildings demarcated, I asked him. Even on Google Maps, the location leads one to World One. If there were already people living there on the 8th floor, why were no security guards or liftmen stationed at the premises? He promised me that he has already stationed guards in all lifts. But my friend checked today, and it hasn’t been done yet. In fact, even the occupied buildings don’t have lift guards at most times.”

She added that she intended to take measures to ensure that her ordeal does not occur with anyone else. “I will be sending them a legal notice. I don’t want any compensation, neither do I want to sue them. I just want to know what measures they have in place to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone again. If they don’t respond, I’ll think of what steps to take further.”

“The individual in question does not reside at the development and was a visitor. It appears she wanted to go to one tower, did not follow the signage, and instead went up into another tower which is not yet occupied. We regret the inconvenience caused to her.”, a spokesperson from Lodha group reciprocated to a Midday.

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