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Paquin Tower elevators down for hours, strand some residents

UPDATE, 8/13: Phil Steinhaus, CEO of the Columbia Housing Authority, tells ABC 17 News said they’ve had issues with the elevators for a number of years.

He said they finally found money to replace them and are hoping to have all new elevators in the building by the end of the year.

Still no word on what exactly caused the elevator to break down.

8/12: Paquin Tower’s single elevator is working again after several hours of work on it.

Residents at Paquin Tower in Columbia were stranded in the lobby after both elevators went out of service. One of the elevators is closed through October, meaning many residents in wheelchairs had a much harder time, if not an impossibility, getting up and down the fifteen floors of the apartment building while waiting for the other to be fixed.

According to some residents, the broken elevator has been out of service since late Friday afternoon.

“Who I feel sorry for is the people in wheelchairs, because they’re stuck. I mean, they really are,” one resident of Paquin Tower said, who wished to remain anonymous in fear of “retaliation” from CHA staff.

The public housing unit is going through a major renovation project. Many of the lower-level floors are being remodeled, and crews constantly use the one working elevator.

Residents told ABC 17 News they think constant use from the construction crews and people living there “wore out” the one available elevator, but questioned why more attention wasn’t paid to it before it went out.

CHA has not said what caused the elevator to break down Friday.

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