Because of the often brutal scenes first responders in Pennsylvania and elsewhere witness every day, it may take a lot to rattle them. However, a recent tragic accident in the elevator shaft of a dangerous property left some rescue workers visibly shaken. The incident has also raised the ire of many tenants and may result in serious consequences for the building's owner.
A woman living in a privately owned apartment building in another state left her apartment on the 23rd floor pushing her 6 week old baby in her stroller. She stopped at the elevators, possibly unaware that long overdue repairs had begun on them just 90 minutes earlier. However, when the elevator doors opened, the car was six to eight feet below the opening. The baby's stroller rolled forward and plunged into the shaft, crashing onto the roof of the car. The woman fell also, landing on the baby in her stroller.
The elevator car jerked and dropped eight stories. Hearing the woman's screams, the elevator worker ran to help the injured woman out of the car. Rescue workers attempted CPR on the child but were not able to save her.
According to records, the building has been cited for 50 unresolved violations of the building code. A recent elevator inspection noted a defect in the elevator, and nearly 20 complaints about the elevators have been lodged with the city since January 2015. The building is home to many senior citizens and people who are wheelchair bound.
This dangerous property, as well as the elevator repair company, is now the center of the investigation into the death of the infant. Like any parents in Pennsylvania and across the country, the parents of the little girl are grieving over her loss and would be within their rights to seek the advice of an attorney. Their lawyer will likely also meet with the many aggrieved tenants who have had their own harrowing experiences with the defective elevators.
Source: New York Daily News, "6-week-old baby dead after plunging down elevator shaft of Brooklyn building with history of violations; "Everybody is scared to take that elevator'", Kerry Burke, Thomas Tracy & Greg B. Smith, Oct. 14, 2016