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Entries in Elevator (7)

Monday
Feb272012

Investigators Issue Report on Fatal NYC Elevator Accident

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An elevator accident that killed a New York City woman was blamed Monday on safety lapses.

Safety protocols were ignored, investigators say, by repairmen who had left the Madison Avenue elevator moments before advertising executive Suzanne Hart stepped into it last December.  As she did, the elevator suddenly jerked up, trapping her in the shaft, where she died.

City officials say the maintenance workers failed to follow basic safety procedures and left a circuit disconnected that prevents elevator movement with the doors open.

The case has now been referred to prosecutors, so it's possible the repairmen from Transel Elevator will face charges.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb062012

After Elevator Rescue, Man Stuck Again -- With Rescuers

Hemera/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Chicago firefighters made a daring overnight rescue to free a man trapped for nearly four hours in a broken high-rise elevator.

The man, who's in his 20s, was on his way home just after 9 p.m. Sunday night when the elevator he was riding in lurched to a stop near the 20th floor.  He called for help, but when firefighters responded to the building at 65 East Monroe Street, they could not get the broken elevator to budge. They resorted to a rescue effort straight out of an action movie.

“Their first inclination was to get him using an adjacent elevator in the same bank, and possibly bring him out through the trap door in the ceiling of the broken elevator, and then into the trap door of the other car,” said Chief Kevin MacGregor of the Chicago Fire Department. "It’s not an easy process in the dark elevator shafts at nighttime."

But that is exactly what they tried.  The trapped man and his rescuers carefully climbed through the darkened shaft and in through the roof of the second car -- only to find that the elevator they had hoped to use as a rescue vehicle also was broken.

A repairman was called in to fix what he believed was an electrical problem. In the meantime, the man, and his rescuers remained stuck.  Firefighters on the ground kept searching for a way to get the trapped men out.

“We tried a few things. We even considered looking at the plans for the building so that we could breach a wall in the lower commercial areas of the building to get into that elevator shaft,” said MacGregor.  “We also thought about coming from above and lowering more rescuers down by ropes.”

The 49-story building, known as the Park Monroe, houses commercial space on the lower floors, and recently converted condominiums on the top floors.  With the men stuck in the middle, it was fortunate that one of the trapped firefighters found a solution.

“Our guys were up on top of the elevator and discovered there was a reset switch” on the second disabled elevator, MacGregor said. “They activated it, and were able to operate that elevator manually.”

Firefighters rode on top of the crippled elevator car, slowly lowering it to the ground floor where the trapped man, and his rescuers finally escaped.

“It’s not ideal but it was better than the alternative,” said MacGregor. “It’s a slow process to do it safely. You’re working in that element and the visibility is very poor. Nobody got hurt, that was the main thing.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec192011

Man Smelling of Gasoline Charged in NY Elevator Burning Death

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A man who walked into a police precinct house smelling of gasoline was charged Sunday in the death of a woman who was burned alive in her apartment building elevator, New York police said.

Jerome Isaac, 47, of Brooklyn, who walked into a Brooklyn police station shortly after the attack Saturday, was charged with murder and arson, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said.

Police said he knew Deloris Gillespie, the 73-year-old woman who was killed.

Video from two surveillance cameras caught the attack and show a man dressed like an exterminator waiting outside the elevator when its doors opened on the floor where Gillespie lived.

"It was apparent he knew she was on the elevator," Browne said Saturday.

The attacker stepped in and began spraying Gillespie, who was carrying bags of groceries.  To protect herself, she turned and crouched as the man continued spraying her face, head and body.

She moved farther back into the elevator, but the man, using a thin, flaming, long-stemmed torch, lit a rag that was stuffed in a bottle and set her afire with it.  He backed out of the elevator as she fell to the floor, then tossed the bottle onto her.

Photos of the attacker, released by police, show him in a black jacket and what appear to be surgical gloves, with a white dust mask on top of his head.  He was holding a canister and, from it, spraying a liquid that police have not yet identified.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Dec182011

Man Smelling of Gasoline Questioned in Elevator Burning Death

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A man who walked into a police precinct house smelling of gasoline is being questioned in the death of a woman who was set on fire in her apartment building elevator in a horrific attack that was caught on surveillance video, New York police said Sunday.

The 47-year-old man, who walked into a Brooklyn police station shortly after the attack Saturday, has not been charged, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said.

Police did not release the man's name, but Browne said he knew Deloris Gillespie, the 64-year-old woman who was killed.

The video from the two surveillance cameras show a man dressed like an exterminator waiting outside the elevator when its doors opened on the floor where Gillespie lived.

"It was apparent he knew she was on the elevator," Browne said Saturday.

The attacker stepped in and began spraying Gillespie, who was carrying bags of groceries. To protect herself, she turned and crouched as the man continued spraying her face, head and body.

She moved farther back into the elevator, but the man, using a thin, flaming, long-stemmed torch, lit a rag that was stuffed in a bottle and set her afire with it.

He backed out of the elevator as she fell to the floor, then tossed the bottle onto her.

Photos of the attacker, released by police, show him in a black jacket and what appear to be surgical gloves, with a white dust mask on top of his head. He was holding a canister and, from it, spraying a liquid that police have not yet identified.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec152011

Fatal Accident Elevator Underwent Maintenance Hours Before

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Investigators looking into a fatal elevator accident in New York revealed Thursday that the maintenance workers had been performing work on the elevator hours before it crushed 41-year-old Suzanne Hart on her way to work.

“Workers from Transel were performing electrical maintenance work on the elevator involved in the accident hours before it malfunctioned,”  Tony Sclafani, the chief spokesman for the New York City Department of Building, told ABC News.

“This work has now become the focus of our investigation,” Sclafani said. “We’re going to review their maintenance protocol. We will be asking for a list of their clients in the city and, over the next few weeks, our inspectors will plan on conducting a sweep of these elevators.”

The building, 285 Madison Avenue, has voluntarily closed for Thursday and Friday while all 13 of the building’s elevators are inspected, Sclafani said.

“The force of the accident has raised some potential structural concerns for the building and our engineers are conducting a review,” he said.

On Wednesday, Hart was killed when the elevator unexpectedly rose as she was stepping in, crushing her between the elevator and the shaft wall.

Hart was the director of new business, content and experience at ad the company Young & Rubicam, according to her LinkedIn page.

Two other passengers in the elevator were treated for trauma after witnessing the  accident.

ConsumerWatch.com reports that about 27 people are killed in elevator accidents per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. About 10,000 people every year are injured because of elevators.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec142011

One Dead, Two Injured in New York City Elevator Accident

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A woman died Wednesday when a New York City elevator unexpectedly rose as she was stepping in, crushing her between the elevator and shaft wall.

The 41-year-old woman was on the first floor and heading to work around 10 a.m. at 285 Madison Ave., between 40th and 41st streets.

Two other passengers in the elevator--a 36-year-old woman and an Asian man--are being treated for trauma after witnessing the horrific accident.

A spokesman for the New York City Department of Buildings said its elevator unit was on-scene investigating the cause of the accident.

Elevator inspection records from the Department of Buildings indicate that the building was last inspected on June 16, 2011. Under the category of inspection disposition, the records say "defect found." The Department of Buildings could not comment on the records.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov172011

Girls Trapped Under Elevator: ‘We’re Going to Die’

ABC News(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- Three Oklahoma City middle school students are safe after being trapped under an elevator at school, but a newly released 911 call gives a glimpse into what one of the young girls called an “agonizing” experience.

“Oh my God. We’re trapped under an elevator,” a girl’s voice can be heard saying in the 911 call. In the background, high-pitched screams from her friends yelling “please help us,” can be heard.

The two seventh-graders and one sixth-grader from the Classen School for Advanced Studies spent about 40 minutes trapped under the 500-pound elevator on Tuesday before being rescued. They lay on their backs and struggled to breathe with less than a foot of space between the bottom of the elevator and the ground.

One of the girls, 12-year-old Ambri Tygard, credits her friend’s combat boots with saving their lives. “[The elevator] came down right on her boot and stopped it,” Tygard told ABC News’ Oklahoma City affiliate KOCO.

Tygard said that she and her friends were on the first floor of their school when they decided to take the elevator. “I didn’t think it was unsafe or anything. I just thought it was normal, until I looked up [and] realized, ‘This isn’t the elevator. This is the shaft room,’” Tygard told KOCO.

But by the time Tygard had made this realization, it was too late because her friend had already closed the door and they were locked inside. Tygard said that within 30 seconds, the elevator that was three floors up came down right above them.

“I was like, ‘We’re going to die. We have to find a way out. There must be some way out,’” Tygard said.

The girls were rescued about 40 minutes later and taken out of the school on stretchers by paramedics. They suffered only minor injuries.

Tierney Cook-Tinnin, a spokeswoman for Oklahoma City Public Schools, told ABC News that the school’s principal said that the elevator is only used by students who are injured or handicapped and that the door to the elevator is always locked.

School officials are still investigating exactly how the incident happened. The school’s principal has interviewed a couple of the students, but since Tygard is still in the hospital, they have not spoken to all three girls yet.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio