5 Girls Trapped in Old Bank Vault
Nov. 24, 1998
AUBURN, Calif. (AP) _ Five girls got locked in an old bank vault for nearly three hours before rescuers broke through a concrete wall with jackhammers and freed them.
The girls, ages 3 to 11, were fine after the experience, which began around 8 p.m. Sunday.
The vault was in a church that was once a bank. It was being used to store snack food.
Mark Quinlan, whose 10-year-old daughter, Brianne, was among those trapped, said the girls remained calm.
``The older kids got the younger ones to sit on their laps. They prayed and for a little while were singing. The 3-year-old fell asleep for about two hours as the jackhammers rattled the walls,'' Quinlan said.
Quinlan said the girls wandered into the vault while their parents were attending Bible studies upstairs, and someone closed the door behind them as a prank.
He said the thick, steel door has a release lever inside. But when the children followed the written instructions, the door wouldn't budge. A locksmith later said the lock had been improperly dismantled.
``We're going to take the door off,'' Pastor Paul Hoffman said.