Terrified shoppers were left "screaming" and "panicking" when were trapped in a lift as it "plunged up and down 25 times".
The incident happened at St David’s Shopping Centre in Cardiff with those involved describing the ordeal as "life changing" and "like something out of a horror film".
Those involved claimed they were trapped in the "boiling hot" lift for 40 minutes as it went up and down continuously, reports Wales Online.
One girl suffered a panic attack while another claimed it took them around 10 minutes to get through to the centre’s emergency team.
Firefighters from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service were called to the scene and rescued those inside.
St David’s have apologised but those involved claim they were given free parking and a bottle of water after their ordeal.
Megan Jones, 19, was also trapped in the lift with her mum Alyson Jones, 53 and described the ordeal as "an absolutely horrific and life changing experience."
She wrote on Twitter : "Cannot believe that after being stuck in a lift flying up and crashing down to the floor for 25 minutes & having the fire brigade get us out, all St David’s Cardiff can offer us is free parking, absolutely disgusting!!!"
"Not being able to contact anyone whilst we were being thrown up and down with no way of stopping the lift was honestly the worst experience of my life," she continued.
"If there was any more than the 13 of us in there, there would have been bigger issues!
"We went down to the first floor and then right up to the top. It all happened so fast.
"We hit the top and came down with a judder. We must have gone up and down continuously around 25 to 30 times.
"Everyone was screaming. It was the worst experience of my life."
Four of those involved included Taris Chapman, 19, and her friends Amy Hitchins, Wallis Owen and Olivia Oldham, who were making their way back to the car after having food at TGI Fridays.
The girls, who are all from the Rhondda, Wales, posted about the frightening experience to Facebook .
"Myself, three of my friends and nine other people were in the lift in St David’s shopping centre this evening when it stopped working," Miss Chapman posted to the social media site.
"This resulted in 40 minutes of the lift going to the top floor and just plunging us down seven floors with force, whilst jolting.
"Not to mention, how frightening it was as we couldn’t get hold of the of the help line 10 minutes into the lift breaking.
"When we did manage to get hold of them, the speaker kept cutting off and due to no signal we couldn’t even get through to the emergency services.
"Around 20 minutes later, the fire service came and helped us get out.
"This was the most terrifying thing we have experienced and want to warn others as it was very distressing."
Speaking to WalesOnline the morning after the ordeal, Taris and her friends said the experience was like something from a horror film.
"It felt like there was no control over the lift," they said.
"Everyone was screaming and panicking. It felt like the cord that holds the lift wasn’t working properly."
Olivia, who suffers from a fear of lifts had a panic attack and was shaking and crying throughout the ordeal.
"We were all crying and decided to sit on the floor in case it hit the bottom hard," they said.
"It honestly felt like we were never going to get out."
The girls also said they "couldn’t get through" to the shopping centre’s emergency staff and "when we did we just couldn’t understand what was being said".
Taris added: "It was boiling hot in there. Everyone was sat down, panicking and sweating. We had no drinks and it felt like there was no air in there."
Danielle Crowley said: "Me and a couple of my friends were in there with you. I’m going to write a letter of complaint. Scary how little control they had over stopping the lift."
Meg later said the incident was "absolutely horrific" and she "didn’t really sleep" last night saying her body was "aching".
Steven Madeley, General Manager for St David’s said: “We can confirm there was a fault with a lift in the centre Saturday evening, and the Fire Service attended in line with our usual protocol.
"We’d like to apologise to those affected and thank them for their patience. We will be liaising with those customers directly.”
A spokeswoman for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service confirmed a crew from Cardiff Central were called to St David’s Shopping centre at around 6.57pm.
It followed reports that a "lift was stuck".
"We obtained the lift keys and the people inside were released safely," the spokeswoman said.
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