Thousands of New Yorkers take elevators every day without a second thought. Some riders may occasionally worry about being temporarily stuck in an elevator, but hardly anyone considers the possibility that they could be physically injured. That may be changing. A series of recent New York elevator injuries have recently made news as riders have been seriously injured and killed.
In Manhattan earlier this month, an elevator suddenly lurched upwards as a woman attempted to step into the elevator car. She became pinned between the wall of the elevator shaft and the car, suffering fatal injuries.
Also this December, in Brooklyn a woman died inside an elevator car after she was sprayed with flammable liquid and a Molotov cocktail was used to set her on fire.
Finally, felony assault charges were filed this month against an elevator mechanic stemming from a December 2010 incident. In that accident a woman’s leg became trapped between the elevator shaft and car. She was dragged
for several floors resulting in most of her leg becoming mangled. The mechanic allegedly took a shortcut to fix the elevator prior to the accident.
These recent events have highlighted the potential dangers of elevators where riders can become trapped with no way to escape. An estimated 27 people in the U.S. die each year as the result of elevator accidents. Considering the roughly 18 billion trips elevators make per year such accidents are relatively rare. However, even one elevator accident fatality is too many.
Source: Los Angeles Times, New York is scene of recent bizarre and deadly elevator incidents, 18 December 2011