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Articles Tagged with elevator accident nyc

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NYC ElevatorsIn an effort to reduce elevator accidents in New York City,  the city updated the safety law related to elevators with new periodic inspection requirements starting January 1st 2022.

Building owners as well as condo and co-op are now solely responsible for periodic elevator inspections

Previously, periodic inspections were effectuated by third-party agencies subcontracted by the DOB but a recent audit found that with this system, safety violations were not proprely reported. For this reason, it is now the responsibility of the building owner to hire an elevator company to effectuate the inspection. The elevator company can not be affiliated to the one effectuating the testing, maintenance and repair of the elevator. A report must be summitted to the DOB within 14 days of the inspection and defects must be fixed within 90 days. An affirmation of the correction must then be sent to the DOB within 14 days. See previous DOB service update.

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Elevator accidents too often occur when passengers try to save themNYC-elevator-accident-campaignselves instead of waiting in the elevator cabin for help to come. Nobody wants to be stuck in an elevator but if it happens do not try to escape by yourself you might end up badly injured or even dead.  The Department of Buildings just released a YouTube video explaining what to do if you get stuck in a elevator.

Concerned by your elevator safety? Call 311

In New York every year 45 million elevator trips are being completed in the 90,000 elevators installed in the city.  Building owners are responsible to make sure the elevator is working proprely. If you are concerned by the safety on an elevator, contact the landlord and call 311 to report the issue. The DOB will usually send an inspector in the next 24h. If work is required on the elevator a notice must be posted 10 days prior to the work.

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Lufthansa Cargo BuildingA 40 year old man was fatally crushed by a freight elevator at JKF Airport in NYC. Dillon Jobe was found critically injured in a shaft at the Lufthansa Cargo Building. His cell phone was lying next to him.  So far and according to the NY Daily News, the investigators believe that he dropped his cell phone and was trying to retrieve it, He later died at the hospital. According to the family the circumstances of the death are not clear and the mother told the Daily News that she was told that there was no video footage showing his son dropping his phone, The mother believes she is not getting the whole story. The NYPD is still investigating the fatal accident.

The mother was not called by Aviation Safeguard, the company for whom Dillon was working as a security guard but by the hospital. They asked her to come because her son was there. She rushed there with her other son. The hospital told the mother that her son didn’t have a heart-breath when he arrived but they didn’t know what happened. The hospital said that they were told that his body was found by a conveyor belt. They didn’t know what happened to him.

Dillon Jobe was from Trinidad. He left behind a 7 year old daughter. She lives in Trinidad but they were speaking together everyday. The family doesn’t know how to tell her that her dad is dead.

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On the Christmas Eve of 2015 around 4:00 pm, 84 year old Olegario Pabon stepped in his elevator at a Bronx NYCHA development in New York City. As he was getting inside, the elevator zoomed upward trapping the man’s leg and hand and then dropping him on his head. He died from his injuries.

The deadly elevator accident was preventable. An hour and half earlier a concerned tenant of the building had called in a complaint saying “the lift is going up and down by itself with its door open and when the door closed it slams really hard”. Nobody did anything about it it and no inspector was sent to check it out.  This act of gross negligence killed Olegario Pabon.

The DOI investigation following the death of Olegario Pabon found out that the brake monitor had been disabled. According to the DOI report, it seemed like a NYCHA elevator mechanic had clipped the wires on the device and closed off the electrical connection by covering it with black electrical tape.

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elevator map nycThe NYC Department of Buildings just released the “Elevator Report 2017”. Presented in a very fancy way on the DOB website with interactive map and historic references the report provides a good overview of the extent of the elevator inventory in the city but unfortunately provides too little information about elevator accidents in New York and Elevator safety.

In the report, we learn that the first elevator was installed 168 years ago in New York and that the elevator stock of the city represents 9% of the national stock. More than 84,000 devices are under the jurisdiction of the DOB and the Department performed more than 196,000 inspections in 2017. Building owners are required by law to have their elevator or elevators inspected twice a year. Additionally an in-depth inspection that includes load test has to be performed every five years. Tests reports have to be submitted to the DOB. Failure to submit these tests results will lead to penalties. When owners fail to proprely maintain their elevators and inspectors detect defects, owners are issued “failure to maintain” violations.

To find out about elevator dangers and issues the DOB relies mainly on citizen reports. Anyone in New York who discovers that an elevator in not working properly, is not inspected or has been installed without a permit can file a complaint with the DOB.  New Yorkers are also invited to report dirty elevators or elevators with broken fixtures in residential buildings. The DOB also recommend anyone to call 911 if:

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A construction worker suffered critical injury after he fell down an elevator shaft in NYC. The 42 year old man was an employee of Economy Elevator Inc. He was working on a construction site at 246 Johnson Ave in Brooklyn, NYC when he fell seven stories in the elevator shaft. Other workers who heard him scream came to the rescue and call the emergency medical workers. The workers was able to move his hands and his feet when the EMS put him on the stretcher. He was transported to the hospital in critical condition. According to DNA Info the worker was wearing a harness when he was found on the ground. However it is not clear if it was attached to anything at the time of the accident. Read more in DNA Info 

246 Johnson Ave is located at the corner of Bushwick Place near the Montrose L stop. In 2014 it was a one-story building that was bought by developer Moshe Silberstein. A residential building is now being constructed at this location. See below a picture of the building from Google map before development.

246 Johnson Ave

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3415 Neptune Ave street viewA baby girl died in an elevator accident in New York City on Thursday.  Her mother was also injured in the accident. She was expected to survive. Last  Thursday around 10:30 am, 21 year old Aber Al-Rabahi put her 6 month old daughter Areej Ali in her stroller and headed out of her apartment for a walk. Aber Al-Rabahi and her daughter called the elevator on the 23rd floor of of the Sea Rise, a residential building located at 3415 Neptune Avenue, in Coney Island, Brooklyn. As the elevator doors opened, the mother pushed the stroller inside and walked in without  realizing that the car was stuck 6 feet below. The mother landed on the top of her daughter on the roof of the elevator. The elevator fell down eight stories where the the mom and her daughter landed on the roof. A maintenance worker who heard the mother screaming ran to the rescue. The mother and the infant were both transported to the hospital. The infant was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. The mother is expected to survive.

Neighbors told the NY Daily News that both elevators in the building were constantly having problems. On Wednesday night tenants complained that the elevator was not functioning proprely. A mechanic from Centennial Elevator Co. had arrived an hour before the accident. He was working on the elevator when the accident happened. Centennial Elevator has two open OSHA investigations . One of them is related to one of their employees who lost an arm  while repairing an elevator in New York City last May (see previous blog).

According to the Gothamist, this is the second time that someone was killed in an elevator accident at the Sea Rise Complex. In 1991, Chandler  Johnson bumped into the door of the same elevator. The door opened and Chandler fell to his death down the shaft. Since the young man died, there were 147 elevator violations in the building.

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Park Slope Garage CondominiumA 4 year old boy died after falling in an elevator shaft inside a luxury NYC garage. According to the police, Jack Roberts slipped through a 10 inch gap between a freight elevator and the shaft at the Park Slope Garage Condominium in Brooklyn, NYC. For some unknown reason, the toddler and his parents were allowed to use a freight elevator that was meant for vehicles to get to the third floor of the garage. Other owners of parking spaces who learned about the elevator accident were in shock.  They said it was very unusual for the staff to allow anyone in the freight elevator.  Car owners usually pick up and drop their car in a designated area at the entrance of the garage. Then the staff takes care of taking them in and out of their respective parking spaces using the freight elevators.

After the accident happened, The Department of Buildings filed a complaint requesting an investigation.

The luxury garage was one the first “condominiums for cars” in New York State with more than 100 parking spaces. The actual price of a parking space there is estimated at $300,000.  The initial price for a parking space at the garage when it opened in 1986 was $29,000. At the time it was already considered a very high price. It went up over the years as Park Slope  developed into a trendy neighborhood.  It recently shot up after another similar condominium garage located nearby closed.

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Coney Island HousesAn elevator mechanic died in an elevator accident in New York City on Friday. The accident happened at the Coney Island Houses in Brooklyn, a public housing development belonging to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).   54 year old Igor Begun, was working in the elevator machine room of the building located at 2926 W. 25th St when he was apparently electrocuted to death.

NYPD and NYCHA are still investigating the causes of the fatal accident. The report from the medical examiner will provide more explanation on the exact cause of the death.

Igor Begun was alone when the accident happened. Another elevator worker who was doing some maintenance work in the lobby found him unconscious in the elevator machine room. He was later pronounced dead.

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A 37 year old man died in an elevator accident at the Espoir Building (see picture) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn early this morning. The victim was in the elevator with 14 people. A video depicts the elevator stopping well above the lobby floor. The door opened and the man, identified as Eran Modan was attempting to climb out when the elevator suddenly fell, trapping his upper body between the floor and the top of the cab. His roommate was then able to escape the elevator through a hatch in the bottom. She tried to resuscitate him but the man died in the lobby shortly after EMS arrived.

The building has a history of elevator problems according to the roommate. The Espoir apartment complex received four elevator violations since 2013.

Read more in the NY Daily News