FDNY Firefighters Rescue High School Choir Trapped in Empire State Building Elevator

A high school concert choir visiting from New Mexico to perform at Carnegie Hall got trapped in an elevator inside the Empire State Building Thursday night.

There were 13 people from Rio Rancho High School inside the elevator when a cable snapped.

"We were going up, it was fine, everything was normal. And then all of a sudden it stopped and it started shaking and we dropped," said student Keira Cramoots. "It was definitely scary." 

They were stuck between the 38th and 39th floors, but responding FDNY firefighters tried to keep the students calm by telling them they were near the second floor.

"We opened up the side access panels so we could see the kids," said FDNY Lt. Brendon Mohan, "We reassured them we were here and they were going to get out."  

A firefighter joined the students in the elevator to help extract them. One by one, the students put on a harness to escape.

"We had to walk from one elevator to the next with a harness from a panel," said Crum. "We couldn't see the bottom, it was so high."

"As we were going down, they caught on we weren't on the second floor," said firefighter Christopher Cimorelli.

That's also about the time the kids started being kids again and took selfies.

"We made the best out of it," said Crum. "We saw it as a memory as we were there for each other, and it was fine."

The students are still in shock but said they'll be forever thankful for New York's bravest.

They'll be performing at Carnegie Hall Sunday evening as part of a concert series. Rio Rancho is the only high school choir in the U.S. invited to perform there during Sunday's concert series. 

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