Friday June 26, 11.38am, and the alarm sounds. The alarm in the elevator in the Barcelona City Council building. The elevator in which Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias, and new mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, along with her team, are now stuck. The left-wing politician tweets a photo in which they can all be seen smiling, albeit with a certain element of concern, as is clear from the spelling mistake in the text (“va ha hacer,” instead of “va a hacer”), no doubt due (we’d like to think) to nerves. Iglesias later deleted the tweet, but we have screenshots of it anyway…
A Catalan TV comedy show, Polònia, which is well known for its impersonations of politicians, was quick to respond to Iglesias’s tweet: “If you can’t get out, we’ll send our doubles and no one will notice the difference. WE’LL CONTROL THE WORLD! MUA-HAHAHAHAHA!”
Si no poden sortir enviarem els nostres dobles i ningú notarà la diferència. CONTROLAREM EL MÓN! MUAHAHAHA https://t.co/v718COSDMC— Polònia (@poloniatv3) June 26, 2015
But for those stuck in the lift, the jovial tone began to ebb away. In the second tweet from Iglesias, published seven minutes later, the politician admitted that the situation was “starting to get a bit unnerving.” In one of the images, Mayor Colau is waving from the floor while the leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, takes a selfie from the corner of the elevator ceiling. The seven people stuck in the lift didn’t know where to look. The more cynical twitter users who were following the situation suggested that it could be an act of revenge by Xavier Trias, the former mayor of the city who was beaten by Colau at recent elections.
We all know that elevators are very safe, but let’s not forget that there’s a whole subgenre of horror movies that revolve around lifts, in which one of the occupants is usually a murderer. In fact, the first conspiracy theories were beginning to surface on Twitter, starting with one suspicious fact, pointed out by Pedro Aloy: How did Iglesias have a cellphone signal in the lift? How did he do it? Meanwhile, Bernat García ironically noted that Colau was clearly fighting for her life.
. @Pablo_Iglesias_ debe ser la única persona en el mundo que tiene cobertura en un ascensor— Pere Antoni Aloy Llabrés. (@Pere_Antoni) June 26, 2015
Pablo Iglesias y Ada Colau quedan encerrados en un ascensor. En la imagen, Colau ya claramente luchando por su vida. pic.twitter.com/qgOfHbOXhU— Bernat García (@bernatgg) June 26, 2015
The rumors were calmed 10 minutes after the first tweet, when Iglesias published the photo of the group after the rescue.
Rescatados gracias a los trabajadores del ayuntamiento. pic.twitter.com/G00KrwRFUL— Pablo Iglesias 🔻 (@PabloIglesias) June 26, 2015
And as people pointed out afterwards on Twitter, the anecdote became news thanks to a cellphone, a few photos and the social networks.