British Columbia

Balmoral Hotel residents stranded by broken elevator again

An elevator breakdown at the Balmoral Hotel in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside has once again trapped disabled residents on the upper floors.

Third elevator breakdown in 3 weeks has left disabled residents stranded, worried for safety

The Balmoral Hotel is a single room occupancy hotel on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. (CBC News)

The elevator at the Balmoral Hotel in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside is out of service for a third time in three weeks, trapping disabled residents on upper floors. 

Many of the 200 residents in the single room occupancy hotel need wheelchairs or walkers, including 66-year-old Rosemary Brown, who has been stranded in her room for the past two days.

"I feel like a cat trapped in a tree," said Brown on Sunday.

"You can't work a wheelchair down the stairs," said resident David Laing. "And a walker is bloody dangerous, so what do you do? Bum you way down and hope someone can bring your wheelchair down after you?"

On Sunday volunteers from the Downtown Eastside SRO collaborative spent time checking on residents of the eight-storey hotel.

They're worried that in the event of an emergency or fire, not having a functioning elevator could prove deadly.

"It will sometimes take them an hour to get out of the building, which is also a fire hazard," said Marina Classen of the SRO collaborative.

Classen said her group is also offering to call in the fire department if residents need to be carried downstairs. 

The landlord of the Balmoral could not be reached for comment, but the front desk clerk told CBC News on Sunday that a repair crew had been called.

With files from Eric Rankin


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