Matt Davis and his wife were on their way to dinner on the last night of their Caribbean cruise when they came across a gory scene that left them desperate to get off the ship.
Blood was pouring down the front of the elevator with the doors apparently jammed partly open.
“To look and see the elevator with just blood coming down like a sheet, and not stopping… it was a real life scene of ‘The Shining,'” Davis told CNN affiliate WFTX, referring to the 1980 horror movie.
The appalling situation unfolded Sunday evening on the cruise ship Carnival Ecstasy, which Davis and his family had boarded on Christmas Day in Miami.
As the couple looked on aghast at the flowing blood, which they said sounded like a rainstorm, a crew member was trying to usher people back inside the restaurant.
‘Something terrifying happened’
Davis and his wife took photos and video of the horrific scene on their cell phones. In one clip they shared with WFTX, a man can be heard shouting, “No, that can’t be right! No, that’s not possible!”
The elevator was eventually sealed off, Davis said, with a sign that read, “Sorry, but I’m not working at the moment.”
He said crew members told him that an electrician had been working on the elevator.
“A crew member or somebody was inside or behind that wall when the elevator came down, and I don’t know what happened, but something terrifying happened,” he told WFTX.
A spokesman for Carnival, Vance Gulliksen, told CNN that a crew member died Sunday on the ship while working on an elevator.
‘I couldn’t wait to get off the ship’
“The company extends its heartfelt sympathy to the family and loved ones of our team member,” Gulliksen said Wednesday, adding that it was providing support.
“Appropriate authorities have been notified and a full investigation into the cause of the accident is underway,” he said.
Gulliksen didn’t provide the name of the deceased employee, but the Miami-Dade Police Department identified him to WFTX as 66-year-old Jose Sandoval Opazo, an electrician on the ship.
Carnival Corporation, which owns the cruise line, has experienced a number high-profile problems on its ships in recent years, including the capsizing of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy in 2012 and a crippling fire on the Carnival Triumph in 2013.
For Davis and his family, what had started as a happily memorable trip on the Carnival Ecstasy became one they wished they could forget.
“I couldn’t wait to get off the ship,” he said. “I just wanted to get off.”