Five injured people stuck in a collapsed lift which had plummeted three floors to the basement of a Kerry hotel shouted for help for 15 minutes before the doors were prised open, the High Court has heard.
Patricia O’Leary said she felt her leg breaking on impact and she had to be cut from the lift wreckage.
“It was a very violent drop to the floor,” she told Mr Justice Michael Hanna.
The former garda sergeant is one of five from the same extended family - including her husband Andrew Meehan, also a garda sergeant - who have sued over the accident as they tried to return to their rooms in the Killarney Plaza Hotel after a wedding ceremony on July 9, 2011.
The mother of two, who five years after the accident had to retire from An Garda Siochana on medical grounds aged 37, was giving evidence in the second day of the action.
“The lift tried to dock and couldn’t at the floor. It shuddered and there was a loud bang. The lift dropped slightly and stopped for a split second,” she told the court.
Then it just dropped to the concrete basement floor.
She added: “We were dazed and confused. The walls of the lift came in around us. I could see Andrew and Kevin were badly injured. It was very traumatic,” she said.
Emergency equipment, she said, had to be brought into the basement on a luggage trolley.
Ms O’Leary (42) of Co. Meath along with her husband, Garda Sergeant Andrew Meehan and the Meehan brothers Paul and Kevin and Kevin’s wife Jennie Wong have sued the hotel owners, Shawcove Ltd with registered offices at Castleisland, Co. Kerry and companies involved in installing and maintaining lifts Ellickson Engineering Ltd, in receivership of Kilmurry, Waterford; Kilell Ltd also of Kilmurry, Waterford and Otis Ltd, Naas Road Business Park, Dublin, and Otis Elevator Ireland Ltd of the same address as well as lift components manufacturer Daldoss Elevetronic Spa of Valsugana, Italy.