MANHATTAN, NY, NY – Authorities have determined that the freight elevator that caused the death of a supermarket employee in Hell’s Kitchen earlier this month had been installed illegally, PIX 11 reports.
The fatal accident occurred on December 15. A 39-year-old employee of the Food Emporium on West 43rd Street was injured when a small freight elevator she was loading began rising while she was still inside it. She suffered serious head trauma, and died later that day.
Department of Buildings inspectors have determined that the elevator had not been registered with the city. In addition to the previously reported cease-use order, they have also issued a violation to the owner of the building.
“This tragic incident shows just how dangerous unregistered illegally installed elevator devices can be for New Yorkers,” DOB spokesperson Andrew Rudansky said in a statement to the press.
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For a city as dense and vertical as New York is, elevators are absolutely essential. They’re used to raise and lower people, materials, and equipment. Improperly maintained or operated elevators can be the cause of serious accidents for both construction workers and the public at large — and when they fail, the results can be devastating.
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