Car Falls Down Elevator Shaft
Two people were injured after a car plummeted down an elevator shaft in Manhattan, NY on Tuesday morning. The elevator, located on East 76th Street between First and Second Avenue, was meant to haul cars from one floor to the next on the six-story parking garage. When parking garage attendant Steven Morales pulled the car into the shaft on the fifth floor, the elevator itself wasn’t there and the vehicle plummeted down the shaft, injuring Angel Rosa below. Angel was another parking attendant who happened to be on the first floor when the car came crashing down. Both victims were taken to the Cornell Medical Center in stable condition.
The GMC parking garage is also a Hertz rental area and, according to a nearby worker, there have not been any incidents except for a brief period of time when the elevator was not in working order due to a power outage. The fire department was called and had to use a pulley system to remove the Lexus SUV from the shaft as well as extricate the driver.
Fire department officials say that they had to lower individuals down onto the car and then use the jaws of life to get Morales out of the car. Once Morales was freed from the vehicle, he had to be taken out of the elevator shaft through the hoistway, resulting in a complicated rescue effort before freeing the car itself from the elevator shaft.
The driver was attempting to pull the car into the elevator on the fifth floor and it fell approximately 40 feet, landing on its roof, before having to be pulled down to street level by the fire department. The vehicle was badly damaged with a crushed roof and hood and broken glass among other scratches and dents throughout the body and doors.
When the Lexus fell, it landed on top of the elevator car. The worker on the first floor was inside the elevator car at the time of the fall, which is the reason there were minimal injuries to that individual.
There is an ongoing investigation into how this accident occurred. According to the Department of Buildings, there are two open elevator violations from 2010 and two more from 2011 in the GMC building where the accident occurred, however it also states that the accident did not appear to be in correlation with the elevator’s operation. The investigation efforts are expected to continue until the exact reason behind the accident is confirmed.