Customer freed after being locked inside N.Y.C jewelry vault for 10 hours

Customer freed
Credits: LLN NYC/Youtube

In a tragic turn of events, a customer accidentally got himself locked inside a giant vault located in Manhattan’s Diamond District, as per a report by USA Today. For nearly 10 hours, he remained trapped until the vault’s timed mechanism triggered its release, finally setting him free on an early Wednesday morning. 

The customer, an unidentified 23-year-old man, had been inside the room-sized steel vault on Tuesday night to access his personal lock box. Unexpectedly, a timed mechanism within the vault abruptly engaged, leaving him locked inside, officials said.

The vault opened on its own

At around 8:45 p.m., the police were alerted to provide their assistance in freeing the man trapped inside the DGA Securities’ vault, located in a room within a building in Midtown at 580 Fifth Avenue in New York City.

According to the New York Post, FDNY and NYPD teams worked tirelessly for almost ten hours overnight, breaking through about 30 inches of concrete to reach the vault’s metal plating. 

The rescue teams maintained contact with the trapped man via phone and surveillance cameras within the 20-foot by 40-foot vault, which was assumed to have plenty of oxygen, as confirmed by officials.

In a surprising turn of events, “the vault opened on its own — it’s on a timing mechanism — and he was just released from the vault,” FDNY Deputy Chief John Sarrocco told reporters. 

‘He’s fine’

The trapped individual was able to walk out from the vault around 6:15 a.m. on Wednesday. “He’s fine, he’s being evaluated by the EMS (emergency medical service),” Sarrocco said, noting that no criminality was suspected. 

What does the vault company say?

DGA Securities’ website declares its vault as a place that provides “the security, services and tools you need to conduct business in today’s Diamond District.” Moreover, the site emphasizes, “The vault is protected by DGA’s network of security and surveillance systems monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” It goes on to state, “Providing unparalleled protection along with impeccable office amenities, this is your one place to have it all.”