Warning as the new ‘dangerous’ trend of elevator surfing sees ten-year-olds risking their lives in elevator shafts for clicks
CHILDREN as young as 10 put their lives at risk surfing to the top of the ski lifts – using cheap triangular keys bought on eBay.
YouTube’s reckless craze – in which daredevils climb to the top of elevators and climb into elevator shafts – has sparked dozens of imitation attempts.
Last night, activists revealed how young people were buying keys for as little as £ 3 on eBay to access roof lifts and emergency orders.
Firefighters called the fashion “incredibly dangerous and potentially deadly.”
A prominent ski lift surfer explains to his subscribers how to “ride the ski lifts” in videos posted on social networks.
And in one clip, a pre-teen aged about 11 shows off his new triangular key, telling viewers, “Today we’re going to talk about my new triangular key that I just bought. It is used for ski lift surfing.
“I hope you enjoy going up to the top of the ski lifts because that will be our novelty.”
He then films himself trying to access a parking lift in Ashford, Kent, before admitting, “The lift has stalled and it won’t move.”
In another video, a teenager whose voice hasn’t broken yet recounts how he was grabbed by an “old lady” who asked him if the elevator was broken. He adds: “I would have done more lifts if I hadn’t been caught.
Other footage on the platform includes adrenaline-seekers filming themselves riding the ski lifts in Southend, Essex, and tampering with controls.
In a report on YouTube, activists warned that the videos “glorified dangerous activities” and showed “a complete disregard for health and safety”.
Nick Mellor of LEIA, the elevator and escalator industry association, spoke about how surfers risk falling from a height, being electrocuted and being struck by counterweights.
He said: “Elevators have many safety features aimed at ensuring the safety of the public and those who work on elevators – engineers work under safe working procedures.
“Elevator engineers would never ride an elevator – they understand the risks and what can happen.
“The problem with ski lift surfing has grown in recent years as videos posted on social media have grown in popularity.
“We have complained to Youtube about some videos that we have seen but to no effect.
“They should take action when they receive complaints about clearly unsafe activity posted openly on their site.”
Not only does this expose children to serious or life-changing injuries, but it could also keep firefighters and other emergency services away from other vital activities.
Mark Hardingham, Chairman of the National Council of Fire Chiefs
Mark Hardingham, chairman of the National Fire Chiefs Council, said he feared children would use elevator shafts “as play areas”.
He added: “Not only does this expose children to serious or life-changing injuries, but it could also keep firefighters and other emergency services away from other vital activities.
“This will have an impact on our precious resources, which are already in demand.
“This is insane and could potentially encourage other people to participate in this insane activity.
“I urge those who are even considering this, to think twice about this insane course of action and the impacts not only on themselves, but on others as well.”