Terrifying footage shows daredevils ‘lift surfing’ in Sheffield’s tallest building

A terrifying video has emerged of daredevils “lift surfing” in a UK’s city’s tallest building.

The worrying footage shows a young man recording himself while dangerously standing on top of the moving escalators.

The video, posted onto YouTube by an account with the username RYEGI, shows what appears to be two men standing on top of a lift in the dark as it ascends and descends the elevator shaft of what is said to be St. Paul’s Tower – a building that has held the title of Sheffield’s tallest building since its construction in August 2010.

Titled ‘Lift Surfing in St Paul’s Tower (Sheffield’s Tallest Building)’, the video was uploaded last Friday and has been viewed over 2,000 times.

The upload came a day after a similar video titled ‘Lift Surfing at Sheffield University’, in which a similar incident occurred. But this time it was alleged to have taken place in one of Sheffield Hallam University’s buildings.

The trend became popular in the 1990s, and notably in 1997 a 10-year-old Paul Illingworth was discovered dead at the foot of a lift shaft in his Leeds housing estate, after falling eight floors to his death after riding on top of the lift.

Similarly, two years later, 14-year-old Jason Nolan of Dublin died as a result of being trapped between the lift and the top of the elevator shaft in his apartment building.

Over 20 years following incidents such as these, the trend continues to be responsible for countless videos across social media platforms, many of which are filled with supportive comments by those who follow the trend.

One user reacted to the St. Paul’s Tower footage, commenting: “I love the noise high speed Mx20s make, best sounding modern lift”.

Another fan simply commented: “nice surf”, on the video alleging to be filmed at Sheffield Hallam’s building.

Managing Director of the Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA), Nick Mellor, said people in the industry have seen the trend for some time – and urged authorities and social media companies to step in before more people are injured.

“Lifts require frequent safety checks and the use of lots of specific equipment to ensure the safety of workers who carry out maintenance on them,” he said.

“Our blood runs cold due to the safety hazard caused by interfering with the elevators without the engineer’s knowledge.

“No one is prepared to get involved, police struggle to identify those responsible and are limited in what they can do. YouTube is the platform responsible for these videos being shared, the worry is that a young person could easily try to copy the actions seen in the video.

“We need to hold these platforms to account and stop giving these people publicity, I’m quite frankly surprised there hasn’t been more fatalities than what has been reported due to the danger posed by lift-surfing.”