Birmingham & Black Country

Starbucks lift shaft fall: Victim 'was member of staff'

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Media captionThe woman was taken to hospital for treatment

A woman who broke her pelvis and legs after falling 25ft (7.6m) down a lift shaft in a Starbucks coffee shop was a member of staff, the BBC understands.

The lift involved in the accident was one used by workers and not usually accessible to the public.

Solihull Council has launched an investigation into Thursday's accident.

The woman, who is in her 20s, plunged down the shaft at a branch on High Street in Solihull, West Midlands, and had to be rescued by firefighters.

She was taken to the trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Image caption The Starbucks outlet is part of the Touchwood shopping centre

The Starbucks coffee branch remains closed until investigations are complete.

A company spokesman said they were "shocked and distressed by this terrible incident", adding they were "working closely" with authorities.

'Lucky escape'

Shopper Douglas Wilks, 69, from Redditch, said he had used the lift a week ago because he was struggling with his arthritis.

"It's not a lift that is used regularly by members of the public - you have to ask staff if you can use it," he said.

"There is a button at wheelchair height you have to hold and its like a platform with low sides going up and down a big a tube.

"We went up in the lift but we didn't use it to go down, it felt a bit insecure.

"When I heard the news, I said to my wife we had a lucky escape.

"I feel sorry for the staff involved as they were all very lovely."

Image caption Starbucks said it is co-operating with the investigation into the incident where a woman was injured in a lift shaft in Solihull

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