More than 75,000 elevators stopped due to quake

Japan's infrastructure ministry says more than 75,000 elevators stopped when a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck Tokyo and surrounding areas on Thursday night.

The ministry also says people were trapped in 28 of the cases, but all of them have been rescued unharmed.

The elevator of a 9-story building in Tokyo's Minato Ward was still out of operation on Friday afternoon.

The 84-year-old owner, Kuwabara Yaeko, lives on the 8th floor with her bedridden husband. A doctor and a nursing caregiver had to climb up the stairs to see him.

The ministry says a safety system that became mandatory in September 2009 makes elevators stop at the nearest floor after detecting a tremor.
When trembles are not severe, doors will automatically open to prevent people from being trapped.

But operations can be resumed only after inspections and test runs by engineers.

Ministry officials say test runs require more time in taller buildings, and engineers have to use the stairs to move to other floors.