A man died when an elevator suddenly dropped and crushed him in a Manhattan building which was fined just four months ago after inspectors discovered a safety feature had been disabled or tampered with.
NYPD confirmed Samuel Charles Waisbren, 30, was stepping off the lift when it fell from the first floor to the basement of the Third Avenue apartment building in Gramercy just before 8.27am.
FDNY Deputy Chief Anthony Arpaia said the Waisbren was exiting the elevator at the lobby-level when the car dropped toward the basement, causing him to become stuck between the elevator car and the shaft wall on the first floor.
Six other people were in the elevator at the time, including one who had just exited the lift before the deceased male became trapped, Arpaia told the New York Post.
Samuel Waisbren died when an elevator suddenly dropped and crushed him in a Manhattan building on Thursday morning. Firefighters are pictured looking down the elevator shaft following the incident at 344 Third Avenue
An officer stands outside the Manhattan Promenade building which was sealed off following the incident
The 30-year-old died when he became trapped between the elevator car and a shaft wall and was crushed on the first floor of the building. The incident happened at 344 Third Avenue
Arpaia claimed Waisbren ‘was sort of stuck between the first floor and basement’ and he said some of the other passengers were left in the car as it made its descent.
Waibsren, who was a resident at the building, was pronounced dead at the scene by the city’s Medical Examiner, an FDNY spokesman told DailyMail.com .He said other people were in the elevator at the time and were safety rescued and uninjured.
A building employee said security footage from the lobby recorded the horrifying accident.
The employee told the New York Times that Waisbren tried to put his hand out to try to prevent the door from closing as the elevator went down.
‘Like jumping out of a car if it’s still moving,’ the building employee said.
The footage apparently shows two people stepping out of lift just before the lift collapsed, the employee said.
The Manhattan Promenade is described as a ’23-story luxury rental apartment building’ in the Gramercy area. It was built in 1997 and contains 188 residential and commercial units
The official cause of death has not been revealed, but it is understood the elevator reportedly left the man trapped between the elevator car and a wall within the elevator shaft
Worryingly, it has emerged that the Manhattan Promenade, the upmarket building where the incident happened in Gramercy, was fined nearly $1,300 in May after inspectors found that a ‘safety feature on one of the elevators was either tampered with or disabled’.
The safety feature, known as a door zone restrictor, stops an elevator door from opening more ‘than a few inches when an elevator in between floors’. City records did not show that it had been fixed, the outlet reported.
The building has two elevators for tenants, and management had been ordered to stop using the one which had safety issues until it was fixed, according to The New York Times.