Forty-two people were trapped for over an hour inside a packed lift more than halfway up the world's tallest television tower on Wednesday.
Some said they fell ill, and were scared and physically exhausted from having to stand in the cramped space for so long, media reports said.
The people were trapped on the 63rd floor of Canton Tower in Guangzhou shortly after 3pm. No injuries were reported.
The lift was made by Otis, which has come under fire after a series of escalator accidents. An Otis spokeswoman said yesterday the lift came to a halt because of an error by an operator after strong winds shook Canton Tower and activated a safety device.
It was reported that the lift's recommended capacity was 30 people. But a Canton Tower spokesman denied that it was overloaded and said six of the passengers were children.
The Southern Metropolis News reported that the lift stopped suddenly and hung 200 metres above the ground for about 70 minutes. Citing witnesses, the report said the lift had jerked repeatedly as it climbed towards the 60th floor.
The trapped passengers had to wait for a computer programmer to unlock the lift door before rescuers could proceed. All those on board were offered refunds and a free meal. The lift was back in service by 7pm.
An unidentified Canton Tower staff member cited by the Information Times said it was not the first time that lift passengers had been trapped at the building.
A year-eight pupil who said she was in the lift posted on her microblog yesterday that she had been scared it would fall to the ground.
A tourist quoted by the Information Times said: 'The display within the elevator showed that we were on the 81st floor, but we had stopped at the 63rd floor.'
The recommended capacity for a double-compartment lift such as the one in which the 42 people were trapped for more than an hour