Family slams Hatfield’s Galleria after babies overheat while stuck in lift

PUBLISHED: 12:32 14 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:38 14 August 2018

The security guards putting an out of order sign on the lift while Stephen Clarke and his family were inside. Picture: Supplied.

The security guards putting an out of order sign on the lift while Stephen Clarke and his family were inside. Picture: Supplied.

Archant

Distraught parents have slammed the Galleria in Hatfield after two babies had to be stripped following fears that they would become seriously ill after being stuck in a lift.

The Galleria, Hatfield. Picture: Danny LooThe Galleria, Hatfield. Picture: Danny Loo

Stephen Clarke, 40, was stuck in a lift in the shopping outlet for an hour with his 18-month-old daughter and another family who had a baby of only a couple of months old.

According to the families, the Galleria said it did not have a key on site and it could be a couple of hours before one was dropped off.

When approached by the WHT the Galleria declined to comment on the incident.

Stephen said: “It is just plain incompetent to not have a key on site. If there was a fire during that time we would have died in there.”

The security guards putting an out of order sign on the lift while Stephen Clarke and his family were inside. Picture: Supplied. The security guards putting an out of order sign on the lift while Stephen Clarke and his family were inside. Picture: Supplied.

After the babies began to start screaming and overheating Stephen’s wife Jennifer called 999.

Firefighters arrived “quickly” at around 4.30pm on Monday, August 13, and rescued five people from the lift.

Stephen said: “The other family were even more worried because their baby had diabetes.”

Jennifer was stood outside the lift with their other two daughters, aged 10 and 13, who were “hysterically” sobbing.

She said: “We were knocking on the lift door and the security told us not to do that as it could drop which we thought was strange because it was on the ground floor.

“My daughters then started to really panic and I was desperately worried that my husband and baby would drop.”

Jennifer said that once the fire service arrived it was discovered that there were no floors below and the lift couldn’t have dropped.

She added: “They made us go into a state of sheer panic for no reason.”

Stephen added: “The whole situation was handled extremely poorly and very unprofessionally.

“They [the security] didn’t try and calm us down, didn’t reassure us and didn’t even call 999.”

The family, who were shopping for things for their holiday at the time, have said after years of visiting the Galleria they won’t be returning after the ordeal.

Stephen said: “We are really worried that this will happen again to others and want to warn people that the Galleria doesn’t have a lift key on site.

“I can’t see myself going back in a lift for a very long time either.”

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