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Bank customer locked in vault

The Local · 21 Apr 2010, 12:14

Published: 21 Apr 2010 12:14 GMT+02:00

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The customer spent about two hours trapped in the Sparkasse bank’s safety deposit strongroom before technicians were able to free him.

Staff had given a new meaning to ''bank customer service'' when they shut the vault door at the end of the day. Police said in a statement that this had “apparently happened by accident.”

Fortunately, the vault contained a phone, from which the man was able to call for help.

Bank staff immediately set in motion an emergency plan, sending technicians to dismantle the complex security system so that the man could be freed.

Story continues below…

Meanwhile police were also contacted. The man stayed on the line with his rescuers during the whole operation and police said they were confident there had been no risk to his safety.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:37 April 21, 2010 by pepsionice
If you don't go to German banks and realize how few staff they have these days....you simply can't imagine this situation occurring. At my local bank in the German village....they have the manager, one full-time clerk, and one part-time clerk who is only there four hours in the afternoon. That's it. I could see some situation like this occurring very easily.
20:01 April 21, 2010 by wood artist

Despite the issue you raise with staffing, I can't imagine that it's that tough to make a quick sweep through the vault before you seal the door. If nothing else, a quick hollar to see if anyone is inside should be able to prevent this from happening.

While I agree it's more likely a pure accident, and I'm glad nothing bad came from it, prevention doesn't seem like it's that big a problem. It just requires the application of a small amount of common sense, no different than checking your pocket before locking the door on your car, to insure you haven't left the keys inside.

Pretty simple, I think.

22:03 April 21, 2010 by hallomaus
...am I the only one wondering how on Earth a CUSTOMER got into the bank vault?
23:05 April 21, 2010 by Darkknight
..am I the only one wondering how on Earth a CUSTOMER got into the bank vault?

No, You just didn't read/understand the article. Esp the part that states

"bank¦#39;s safety deposit strongroom".. Perhaps he was using his deposit box.

Most Safety deposit box vaults/areas have private rooms for the people

to open their box. It would be easy not to have seen him.
23:14 April 21, 2010 by wmm208
Maybe the banks saftey deposit room is poorly engineered. It sounds like its flawed and can use some modern upgrades. Perhaps some 21st century items like light sensors, a telephone, cameras and moving sensors. I know many other countries who have this modern technology in their saftey deposit rooms and this would never happen in their vaults. The civil rights of this poor man has been abused. The bank should give him money because its societies fault for locking him in the poorly engineered room, not the mans own free will. Society should bear the burden of the bad engineering.
00:07 April 22, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
I've been to that branch. I can see it happening.
02:02 April 22, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Water, water everywhere, and nary a drop to drink. Poor bastard.
17:31 April 22, 2010 by LancashireLad
For him to have been in their strongroom, one of the staff must have let him in.

Do they not keep records as to who goes in and comes out, sign in/sign out, sort of thing?
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