A recent report released by city officials reveals that critical safety procedures were ignored leading up to December's tragic elevator accident in Midtown Manhattan. 41-year-old advertising executive Suzanne Hart was stepping into the elevator on the first floor of a 26-story office building late last year, when the elevator doors suddenly closed on her leg and pulled her body into the shaft, killing her instantly.
Investigators with the city Department of Investigation and Department of Buildings discovered that a vital elevator safety mechanism was turned off just prior to the malfunction, according to NY1. The report further reveals that on the morning of the accident, the mechanic in charge had temporarily turned off the system, which would have otherwise prevented the elevator from moving with its doors open.
Although the mechanic claims to have turned the safety system back on before the accident, investigators discovered that the mechanism did not lock in. Transel Elevator company also failed to follow several other basic safety procedures and the owner's license is currently being suspended. Transel has 23 violations and will be required to pay a minimum of $117,000 in fines.
In an official statement, Transel says that it continues to operate its business based on the licenses in force, as it has over its 25-year history, with a strong commitment to safety.... Transel has fully cooperated throughout the investigation and will oppose the revocation of Mr. Fichera's private license.
The investigation has been forwarded to the DA's office for review, where it may pursue criminal charges.