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What (physically) to do in a falling elevator?

  1. Apr 2, 2010 #1
    I understand that surviving an elevator fall is unlikely, but physically speaking, what is one supposed to do to maximize one's chances of survival? Why?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2010 #2
    I guess you are talking about something like jump up right before it hits the ground. This will transfer some kinetic energy to the elevator which will thus suffer slightly more damage.

    Maybe it is more sensible to find some padding to lie on and place yourself in a position such that not too many organs rip (so it's rather about human anatomy).

    Alternatively you may try James Bond style espace procedures.
  4. Apr 2, 2010 #3
    Yeah, there's not much you can do except to lay flat on the floor(to spread out the impact force) with your hands underneath your head, and pray.

    Jumping will do little.

    An alternative might be to hold onto something overhead(feet off the ground)
    Upon inpact, your fingers will be ripped from what your holding, your shoulders will probably be severely dislocated, and you will probably break both legs.
    But hey, you might survive!
  5. Apr 3, 2010 #4


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    press the emergency break button...
  6. Apr 3, 2010 #5
    The only recorded case of an elevator simply free-falling to the ground, was when a B-25 bomber flew into the Empire State Building and severed the cables.

    The elevator fell down 75 stories. And, I guess the chick inside survived...although barely. I'm not sure if she jumped before it hit the ground or what.
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