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Man crushed by Manhattan elevator

A tragic accident occurred this week in a luxury Manhattan high-rise. On Thursday, Aug. 22, at approximately 8:30 in the morning, a 30-year-old resident of the building was crushed by a descending elevator.

The man was one of seven occupants in the elevator car in the Manhattan Promenade, a 23-story high-rise located in Kips Bay near East 26th Street at 344 Third Ave.

Law enforcement and emergency responders were called to the scene of the grisly tragedy after the elevator car descended from the ground floor to the basement just as the man was exiting the elevator.

Video from the scene shows the elevator doors opening and a man stepping out of the car. A second man attempted to follow him out when, for unknown reasons, the car continued its descent. The man was unable to exit and his last moments were captured frantically attempting to claw his way out of the car.

Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful and was crushed between the car and the wall of the elevator shaft. There were five people remaining in the elevator as it continued its deadly descent.

According to a deputy chief with the Fire Department New York (FDNY), the resident “was sort of stuck between the first floor and basement. The FDNY had to work really hard to get the car moved.”

The city medical examiner pronounced him dead at the scene. The other passengers remaining in the car were uninjured.

This tragic accident happened at a relatively new (constructed in the late 90s) high-rise that had luxury units going for as high as $3,695 per month. The building has a doorman on staff 24 hours a day and is considered to be high-end, with terraces and balconies for the units.

This is not the first time that the elevator had malfunctioned. It had been taken out of service just months ago for similar issues after an inspection on May 29.

Although the city’s Department of Buildings maintains that there had been no formal complaints, a public report from the May inspection states that the “Door zone restrictor has been tampered with. This is a safety device to ensure elevator passengers’ safety.”

Incidents such as this often form the basis for wrongful death and/or premises liability lawsuits filed by survivors and victims.

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