NEW YORK (WPIX) – A customer was freed from a safety deposit room in Manhattan’s Diamond District on Wednesday morning after getting locked inside the night before, according to officials in New York.
The 23-year-old man had been accessing his safety deposit box at a facility operated by DGA Securities on Tuesday night when an employee closed the vault without realizing a customer was still inside, Deputy Assistant Chief John Sarrocco of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) told reporters Wednesday.
The FDNY was notified of the incident around 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday.
Officials arrived and were able to communicate with the customer via a phone in the vault room, Sarrocco said. They could also see the man on closed-circuit cameras.
There was no way to open or override the vault door after it had closed for the night, according to Sarrocco.
“Once it’s closed, it’s on a timing mechanism. That vault does not reopen until a certain amount of time passes,” he told reporters.
The FDNY’s rescue unit arrived with tools to bore through one of the vault’s walls, which were composed of concrete reinforced with steel bars and plates. The technicians initially made progress, but decided against continuing for fear that the torches needed to cut through the steel plates would create a dangerous environment inside the vault.
“We determined that … we would hold off and see if the doors would open automatically,” Sarrocco said.
The customer inside was also in no imminent danger, as there was adequate ventilation in the 20-foot-by-40-foot room, officials said.
Around 6:15 a.m. on Wednesday, the vault door unlocked automatically, at which point the 23-year-old was able to walk out. A spokesperson for the New York City Police Department (NYPD) said the man sustained no injuries and no criminality is suspected.
“He’s fine,” Sarrocco said Wednesday morning. “He’s being evaluated by EMS.”