13 opera singers trapped in elevator, miss performance

NARA —

Thirteen female opera singers were trapped for over an hour in an elevator in Kashihara Bunka Kaikan in Kashihara, Nara Prefecture, on Sunday, causing them to miss a scheduled opera performance.

According to the operators of the hall, the 13 singers squeezed into a small elevator with a maximum capacity of 11 people at around 12:40 p.m. The elevator then stopped moving between the second and third floors.

TV Asahi reported that the women spent over an hour trapped in the elevator, before eventually being freed by firefighters. Their performance had been scheduled to start at 1:15 p.m. The opera program was altered slightly and the performance went ahead without the missing singers.

Several of the women received medical treatment after being freed from the cramped conditions inside the elevator.

A spokesperson said that the women were wearing a variety of costumes and had a variety of builds, but that the hall did not yet have enough information to say beyond a doubt what caused the incident. Police say they will investigate why the elevator was allowed to move when it was over capacity.

Japan Today

  • -6

    GW

    Haha stupid fools! Split the group, two trips, they derserve to miss their show haha!

  • 1

    OrangeXenon54

    Oh Lord, I can just imagine the stupid, overly-polite お先にどうぞ's flying around before they all squeezed in, giggling and wondering if they were going to fit. I'm sure in the time they were doing that they could've made two trips. Elevators are not clown cars, Japan! There's a capacity limit for a reason.

  • 2

    bicultural

    Police say they will investigate why the elevator was allowed to move when it was over capacity.

    Well, there's a people limit as well as a weight limit. Usually, it's around 150 lbs (68kg) per person. If the elevator fits 11 people, it means the limit is around 750 kg. The average Japanese lady weighs 115lbs (52kg) according to this website : http://paro2day.blog122.fc2.com/blog-entry-9.html 13 ladies x 52 kg = 676kg, well within the limit. It's not rocket science, j-cops, although I still think it's rather silly of them to try and squeeze into one elevator.

  • 1

    waltery

    13 opera singers traped in a lift..... Sounds like the start of a great joke. I'm wondering if they had poped elevator music? And was it a Japanese lift or one of those other ones i/ we can't mention.

  • -1

    oberst

    Did they collectively sing for help ? How sweet the sound must be !!

  • 0

    lucabrasi

    @waltery

    '...poped music....'? You mean like 'Ave Maria', or 'Lift up my Soul'? ; )

  • 1

    Laguna

    Opera singers tend to be larger than others. It would have been over more quickly if one had sung, as per the proverb.

  • 1

    Harry_Gatto

    Most modern lifts have an audible alarm for overload and will not move if the limit is exceeded. Being 100kg it has happened to me a few times when getting in last even though there was physically enough space - usually good for a laugh when I hop out again.

  • 0

    Penfold

    They' are probably a bit on the large side if they are opera singers. Hope they hadn't all been eating gyoza before it happened.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    A spokesperson said that the women were wearing a variety of costumes and had a variety of builds,

    I can just imagine. And after an hour together things must have been pretty ripe too.

  • 1

    megosaa

    that elevator needs "tuning" up !

  • -8

    basroil

    Not sure why everyone is treating this like a joke. Several people were treated for side effects of the event, and it could have easily been far worse if it was summer. These people were lucky to get out without major problems.

  • 0

    Vernie Jefferies

    Not sure about the others, but I think the fat lady did sing.

  • 0

    LiveInTokyo

    As they say, "It aint over till the fat lady sings", ... and apparently it wasnt! Glad they got out without many problems.

  • -1

    humanrights

    This is typical Water Buffalo mentality, they rather crush each other than wait 3 minutes for the next shuttle. I tell people to ...off when I get in the Elevator and its 'full' in my opinion.

  • 3

    Fadamor

    Did they collectively sing for help ? How sweet the sound must be !!

    Rumors that it was "Help!" by the Beatles could not be confirmed. ;-)

  • -1

    25psot

    There is something fishy about this elevator. If elevator was design to hold 11 man then easy it could hold 15 females.

  • -1

    JonathanJo

    Some lifts will grind to a sudden halt if you try to force the doors between floors. Perhaps the opera singers all breathed in at the same time...

  • -3

    Konsta

    Unbelievable. Thirteen ladies simultaneously mistook an elevator for a subway train and packed themselves all at once in a small box. This is why it is important to have at least one man in the group. I bet, they would think twice packing too tightly.

  • 0

    basroil

    25psotFeb. 12, 2013 - 12:19AM JST

    There is something fishy about this elevator. If elevator was design to hold 11 man then easy it could hold 15 females.

    Yes, and the maintenance crew and company that made it should be raided immediately to make sure it doesn't happen again.

  • -3

    humanrights

    they were JP versions of 'Blondes'

  • -1

    highball7

    I feel bad if there's a lone baritone in the elevator. And I hope its not made in glass.

  • 1

    OrangeXenon54

    @Basroil We're treating it like a joke because this incident could have easily been avoided with common sense. 13 people with elaborate costumes in an 11 person capacity elevator doesn't make sense.

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