Man trapped in automatic toilet

7th of February 2012
Man trapped in automatic toilet

A Canadian man is sharing a cautionary tale after getting stuck in a high-tech self-cleaning public toilet in Vancouver.

Paul Taylor says he was locked inside the public toilet for 45 minutes before city staff arrived to pry open the door with a crowbar.

The concept behind the self-cleaning toilets is simple: a user steps in, locks the door, and when the user exits, the facility flushes and cleans itself. The toilets are programmed to automatically unlock after 12 minutes as a safety measure.

But when Taylor used the toilet the door stayed locked. He tried the fail-safe lever, designed to open the door if it malfunctions, but he says that didn't work either.

Eventually he used his smartphone to call the city for help. After 45 minutes, two workers arrived to rescue him with a crowbar.

Taylor said he's always been curious about the automatic, self-cleaning public toilets - though he never expected to spend so much time in one.

The city has installed eight of the toilets throughout Vancouver since 2007. Officials say a small number of people have been caught inside over the years.



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