A woman in her twenties has suffered serious injuries after falling down a lift shaft at a Starbucks coffee shop in Solihull, west Midlands. She is thought to have entered the lift shaft without realising the lift was not there.
The woman, believed to be an employee, fell 25 feet (seven metres), breaking her legs and fracturing her pelvis, but is not thought to have suffered life-threatening injuries.
Rescue crews were called to the Starbucks in Touchwood Shopping Centre at around 12.30pm GMT. The rescue operation, which was described as difficult, was completed at around 1.30pm GMT. The coffee shop remained closed for the rest of the day. Health and safety experts are also examining the scene of the incident.
In a statement, West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "Ambulance staff were told that the woman in her 20s had tried to use the lift but when she stepped into the lift shaft there was nothing there and she fell approximately 25 feet to the bottom of the shaft. Ambulance staff worked with firefighters to extricate her from the confined space.
"The woman had suffered probable breaks to her pelvis and leg. After being immobilised and had splints applied, she was taken by ambulance to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham for further assessment and treatment."
West Midland Fire Service said the woman – who has not yet been named – fell 15 feet, though other reports have said she fell up to 25 feet. The shop has an upper floor, ground floor and basement.
A spokeswoman for Starbucks said: "We are shocked and distressed by this terrible incident and we're working closely with the authorities as they investigate how this could have happened. Our store will remain closed until the investigation is finished."