A German man survived a 25ft plunge down a lift shaft when he landed on a woman who had fallen down it a day before. Jens Wilhelms, 27, was unhurt after landing on the 57-year-old woman and managed to free himself from the shaft at the apartment block in Frankfurt am Main where he lived.
He called out rescue services who took the woman to hospital. Doctors said she is in a critical condition after sustaining injuries in her original fall - and then again when Wilhelms landed on her. Police spokesman Manfred Vonhausen said: "The woman had been lying unconscious in the shaft for some time already.
"Although it made her injuries worse it also probably saved her life that he fell on her as it meant he knew she was there and managed to get help." Rescue workers said that without Wilhelm's plunge the woman would have died from internal bleeding. "It sounds really bizarre," one rescue worker said afterwards, "When Wilhelms fell down on her his weight caused additional damage to her body, but without that she could have laid there for days."
Wilhelms said he had slipped as he walked past the lift shaft which had been left open as it was undergoing repairs. "I live on one the top floor and it was quite a nuisance to always climb the stairs," he said. "I saw the door open and I just wanted to check whether somebody was finally working on the elevator. "I took a closer look inside the shaft as it was pitch black, and must have slipped off the edge somehow." - annanova