• Paramedics declared her dead on the scene
  • The Department of Building has launched an investigation into the incident
  • A similar accident had claimed the life of a 62-year-old delivery man in Brooklyn, two years ago

A 39-year-old woman was crushed to death by a freight elevator at a supermarket in Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon.

According to the police, the victim was a grocery worker at Food Emporium on West 43rd Street, near 10th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen.

The Department of Building officials, in its initial investigation, has found that the supermarket employee was loading the freight elevator at cellar level when the incident happened, said a report by ABC 7 NY.

The faulty elevator, then unexpectedly moved towards the first floor, hitting the victim on her head. Her co-workers discovered the body by around 4 p.m. and immediately called the emergency services, about a "fatal elevator device incident." However, paramedics, who rushed to the spot, declared her dead on the scene.

Her body was later loaded onto a stretcher and taken out to the morgue, much to the horror of those who thronged the supermarket.

The identity of the victim has not been released yet. However, the relatives of the victim were immediately notified.

The Department of Buildings has opened an investigation into the tragic incident. It has also issued a cease use order for the equipment.

The supermarket was bustling with shoppers during the time of the incident. The New York Post quoted neighborhood local Jess Mayeur saying how shocked he was to see the body being taken out. “I needed to stock up on food for the storm, so I came here, then saw the gurney roll into Food Emporium and my heart stopped,” said Mayeur.

In a similar incident that happened a month ago, a Boston man suffered serious injuries when he fell into the shaft of a freight elevator in a Norwood commercial building, after the elevator malfunctioned. He plunged to about 15 feet from the first floor into the basement of the building. Brooklyn witnessed another such accident in 2018 when a 62-year-old delivery man died after a makeshift freight elevator collapsed on top of him. The man was delivering food to the basement of the building when the hoist collapsed on top of him. According to the authorities, the makeshift hoist was constructed illegally and lacked the proper safeguards for use.

Representative image of Manhattan Pixabay