Two separate elevator incidents left one man dead and two others injured in Queens and Manhattan yesterday. In the first incident, two workers transporting construction materials in a West Village elevator were injured when the elevator's cables snapped, causing it to fall half a floor and become wedged sideways in the shaft.
The two injured workers had pushed tall pipes through a hatch in the roof of the lift; it's believed these materials became entangled with the elevator cable and counterweight, causing it to break. One of the building's tenants, Michelle Garden, tells CBS 2 she heard "an enormous noise" around 11:30 a.m. when the elevator fell, adding, "My computer slid across my desk. Terrifying."
The nine story building, located at 56 West 11th Street, has been undergoing extensive renovations. Another resident, Jane Stubbs, tells the Post, "We have been enduring the most appalling conditions, people have been getting stuck in the elevator, there are insane dust levels, noise and just general chaos. The building is a nightmare at the moment."
Before the men could be extricated, firefighters first secured the elevator by lashing ropes to its cables, DNAinfo reports. Once rescued, the two workers were treated for minor injuries at Bellevue Hospital.
Hours later, in Flushing, a man moving a small refrigerator apparently stepped into an open elevator shaft on the fourth floor and fell to his death. Police sources tell the Post that the elevator was actually one floor below, and the unidentified man's body was found on top of it around 1 p.m. According to the Department of Buildings, one violation regarding the elevator remains open.
One resident of the apartment building, located on Frame Place near Maple Avenue, tells the Daily News, "I heard he was rolling a refrigerator over there and he fell down with it. That elevator hasn’t been going up and down for a week and a half, but it’s constantly broken. I’ve been stuck in there countless times.”