Maintenance Work Likely Caused Elevator Accident

February 2, 2012
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Maintenance work performed by Transel Elevator was the likely culprit in the elevator accident that killed an advertising executive in Midtown last month, according to Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri. The advertising executive was killed on Dec. 14 when the elevator she was stepping into lurched upward, partly pinning her in the elevator shaft.

"We know that there was work being done right before the unfortunate event, and we do believe that is a contributing cause, or the cause," Mr. LiMandri said after a mayoral news conference at a construction site in Long Island City, Queens. "We know for sure that those events directly before this unfortunate accident clearly are part of our investigation."

Mr. LiMandri said the buildings department had investigated 650 other elevators citywide, including ones owned or maintained by Transel, and that while the agency spotted violations, the Dec. 14 accident appeared to be a singular event. The elevator sweep was the biggest in the city's history, according to city officials.

The Manhattan district attorney's office has also been involved in the investigation, but no charges have been filed.