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Johannesburg - A woman, believed to be in her 40s, died when the elevator she was using apparently failed and rapidly ascending slammed into the roof at a block of flats in Doornfontein, Central Johannesburg, paramedics said.

The lift "rapidly ascended the shaft and came to a stop above the 26th floor" of a building in Doornfontein in central Johannesburg on Sunday morning, ER24 spokesman Ross Campbell said.

"A second person was able to crawl free through the remaining gap between the top of the interior door and bottom of the lift door - he was transported to hospital by another service," he said.

ER24 paramedics, Johannesburg search and rescue and fire department officials were on the scene at around 10.30am to find that the woman had suffered a critical head injury. Attempts were made to stabilise the patient, but access was limited as the lift was very unstable.

Despite every effort by a team of professionals, she unfortunately succumbed to her injuries and was declared dead on the scene. The exact circumstances surrounding the incident were unclear to ER24, but South African Police Service officers were on scene to investigate, Campbell said.

African News Agency (ANA)