Elevator injuries and deaths are tragic accidents that never should occur. However, to show just how often, and how dangerous elevator accidents are, our accident injury lawyers provide four examples of tragic elevator accidents that could have been avoided.
In 2020, a 38-year-old French Lecturer died when an elevator dropped and trapped her between two floors. The victim was crushed in her own apartment building, in an accident so terrifying one witness was taken to hospital for trauma. The professor had recently moved into the Boston apartment building. Just as she entered the elevator it suddenly jolted downward. It is believed a package the woman was carrying triggered the sensor which set the elevator in motion.
Following the accident it appeared it had dropped halfway down to the floor below, crushing the woman who died of traumatic asphyxiation. According to the inspection performed on the elevator, it was found safe.
In May 2021, two construction workers were involved in an accident when an elevator collapsed. One was killed while the other was critically injured. The accident occurred in the morning when the elevator dropped with the two men and their equipment inside. One worker was pronounced dead on the scene, while the other was listed in critical condition upon arrival at the hospital.
In 2013, a 48-year-old woman died after a 2,000-pound elevator dropped onto her at Cal State Long Beach. The accident occurred at her place of work in the Cal State Long Beach Foundation building. The elevator was stuck between the second and third floors when the woman tried to climb out. Unfortunately, the elevator began moving which dropped and crushed her.
It took the rescue team over an hour to lift the 2000 pound elevator from her body. Again, when the elevator’s condition came into question, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Industrial Relations said the elevator had passed a recent inspection. Authorities were quick to stress the importance of remaining inside an elevator if it breaks down.
An advertising executive at Young & Rubicam in New York City had barely entered an elevator at her office when it shot up 20 feet from the lobby landing just below the second floor. The 41-year-old woman had one foot in the lobby when she was dragged up the shaft and crushed to death. A fellow passenger attempted to pull her into the elevator when he felt the jolt but was too late.
Firefighters applied cramps to keep the elevator from falling or sliding up so they could rescue two passengers in the cab. Both passengers were traumatized by the incident and taken to the hospital for treatment. The accident was so disturbing, the building was evacuated and workers were sent home. In this case, the investigation revealed known elevator violations at the building.
All of these accidents could have been prevented with proper maintenance and a better understanding of elevator safe protocols with the facilities involved. If you or a loved one is injured in an elevator, speak to an elevator injury attorney to discuss your case.