“It would go up to the top floor and just drop as if nothing had control over it,” Taris Chapman, 18, told CNN about the incident Saturday evening at St. David’s shopping center in Cardiff.
A spokeswoman for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, which responded to the incident, said no one was visibly hurt and no ambulance was involved.
She told CNN she was stuck for up to 35 minutes with her three friends.
“We tried to call the emergency services but due to the poor signal in the lift we couldn’t get through to them on our phone,” Chapman said. “It wasn’t until we got hold of the people on the intercom they were called.”
She added that she was still “shaken up” and will “never enter a lift again after my experience.”
Another shopper, Megan Jones, 19, said she was trapped in the elevator with her mother, with no way of stopping it or getting out.
“As soon as the lift closed the numbers disappeared and we were going up and down the lift shaft for 25 (minutes) at a speed. Around seven times we hit the floor with a thud, she told CNN.
“I honestly thought I wasn’t going to get out. It was like a film. It took 15 minutes for the firefighters to arrive.”
A spokeswoman for St. David’s shopping center confirmed that an elevator malfunctioned Saturday evening, causing customers to be “transported from floor to floor, and [they] were unable to get out.”
The elevator has been taken out of service, the spokeswoman said.
“We recognize that this was a distressing experience for those involved,” she said. “In addition to the assistance we offered at the time of the incident, we will also be reaching out to the individuals involved to offer a gesture of goodwill.”