In 1945, a bomber plane crashed into the Empire State Building.
The pilot was flying from Massachusetts to Newark Metropolitan Airport when he became disoriented in thick fog. After passing the Chrysler Building, he turned right instead of left. The plane crashed between the 78th and 80th floors, killing 14 people in total.
The accident also injured an elevator operator named Betty Lou Oliver, who was thrown from her post and suffered severe burns from the subsequent fires. When rescuers finally reached Oliver, she was barely alive. They proceeded to put her in an elevator and send her to the ground floor.
What they didn’t realize was that the elevator cables had been damaged by the crash. Once the elevator doors closed, the cables snapped and Oliver fell 75 stories, crashing into the basement. Miraculously, he survived, despite breaking his back and pelvis.
Oliver holds the Guinness World Record for surviving the longest elevator drop.
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