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Woman, 87, trapped in elevator 29 hours

Jan. 3, 2013 at 7:00 PM

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Authorities in Canada say they are investigating how an 87-year-old woman wound up trapped in a nursing home elevator for 29 hours during the holidays.

Three separate probes are looking into the incident at Malton Village Long Term Center in Mississauga, Ontario, from the evening of Dec. 23 until about 2 a.m. Christmas morning, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

"The administration advised me about this very distressing occurrence on Christmas Day," Emil Kolb, chairman of the Region of Peel -- which encompasses Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon -- said in a statement Wednesday. "It was very unhappy news on what should be one of the most joyous days of the year. But my distress was certainly far less than that of the resident and her family.

"The Region of Peel takes responsibility for the care and safety of the residents of our long-term care centers very seriously. We have apologized to the resident and her family for this gap in our duty."

Kolb said the woman's family had dropped her off at the front doors of the nursing home Dec. 23, but she never made it to her room. Nursing home staff thought she was staying with her family, and called the family the next day.

The woman, whose name was not reported, was found in the malfunctioning elevator during search of the building, the CBC said. She was examined a hospital and returned to the nursing home the same day.

Besides the nursing home's internal investigation, the incident also is being reviewed by Ontario's Health and Long-term Care Ministry and the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, a private organization that provides safety services for the provincial government.

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