msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 5/9/2011 6:06:03 PM ET 2011-05-09T22:06:03

Crews rescued a woman after her car crashed through Sheetrock in a hospital parking garage and plunged 10 feet down an elevator shaft, the Seattle Fire Department said.

The woman, in her 60s, had parked in a handicapped spot on the third level of a parking garage at Virginia Mason Hospital and was preparing to leave when instead of hitting reverse she drove forward, officials said. Her car crashed through a wall and fell down into the unused shaft.

Fire Lt. Sue Stangl said rescuers made sure the power was out and the elevator turned off before they went down to the fourth level, broke through a wall and pulled her out.

Stangl said the woman was conscious throughout her ordeal and appeared to be uninjured.

Officials were waiting for a tow truck small enough to fit inside the parking garage to remove the car from the shaft, she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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