Car Involved in New York Elevator Accident

Elevator accidents caused by mechanical failure are invariably dangerous. When a motor vehicle is involved, that only raises the ante.

Such was the case last week on the Upper East Side, when an employee of a parking garage drove a car into an open elevator shaft. Two workers were injured in the incident.

The accident occurred when an employee moved a customer’s car into a fifth-floor elevator. Suddenly the car fell into the shaft – with the driver still inside.

The vehicle then flipped and became stuck at the top of the elevator, which by now had reached the first floor of the parking garage on East 76th Street.

Firefighters were able to free the trapped parking garage worker by removing the car door. The worker sustained various cuts, but the injuries did not appear to be serious.

The other injured worker had been inside of the elevator when it crashed. Fortunately, he too escaped serious injury. Both workers were treated at New York Presbyterian / Weil Cornell Medical Center, where their condition was listed as stable.

Fire authorities who responded to the accident said that a mechanical error may have enabled the doors of the elevator to open when they shouldn’t have. It is also possible that the doors were not open completely when the car drove through them.

“It’s scary to think an engineering problem could cause a case to drive into an open elevator shaft like that,” said a bystander.

It is scary indeed; an elevator accident like this underlines the importance of proper inspections for monitoring elevator safety.

Source: “Car Falls Into Elevator Shaft, Injuring Two Workers,” The Wall Street Journal, Tania Karas, 7-17-12

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