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Aster's avatar

Could You Live When Your Elevator Broke and Crashed to the Ground?

Asked by Aster (18860points) July 2nd, 2010

If there was a secure rope hanging from the top of your elevator and you grabbed it just before it crashed to the ground floor leaving your feet dangling could you survive? Assuming it crashed 10 stories?

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6 Answers

Seek's avatar

Well, they did the “jump at the last second” thing on MythBusters, and Buster did not survive.

Video
The drop is about 1:45, the results at 2:40

Thing is, no matter what, your body is still going from 50 MPH to 0 MPH instantly. That’s what kills you.

Aster's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr thanks. So even if your body touches nothing in the crash you still die just from the speed? Or from the reduction in speed.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I’ve heard that the best way to survive an elevator crash is to actually lie flat on the ground. Of course, this isn’t fool proof.

Seek's avatar

The elevator compresses when it hits the ground. You’re eventually going to hit something.

The thing is, Buster was falling at 53 MPH. He jumped at 2 MPH. Which means, when he hit the ground, he was still going at 51 MPH.

It’s not the fall that hurts – it’s that sudden stop at the end.

downtide's avatar

Presumably if you were hanging onto the rope you’d be smashed against the elevator’s ceiling when it hits the bottom. Unless it was a very very tall elevator.

john65pennington's avatar

Most older elevators have huge springs at the bottom or the basement. this is a bounce you will never forget, if you survive. one fell in the old police building in my city. it fell from the 3rd floor to the basement. there were three inmates on it at the time. all survived, but were loopy for three days. a cable broke, which is rare.

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