Maintenance workers failed to enable a door safety circuit on an elevator moments before an advertising executive was killed after stepping into the elevator in an office tower in Midtown Manhattan, according to officials from the city’s Department of Buildings and the Department of Investigations.
According to officials, the workers did three things wrong:
- They never re-enabled the safety circuit after performing the upgrade and restoring the elevator to normal service.
- They did not post a warning that work was being performed, as required under the city’s building code.
- They did not call the Buildings Department for an inspection, as legally required, before putting the elevator back into service.
If the circuit had been working properly, officials said, it would most likely have prevented the elevator from moving abruptly and pinning the executive, Suzanne Hart, inside an elevator shaft. As a result, the Buildings Department is suspending the license of the owner of the maintenance company, Transel Elevator, that performed the work and will seek to have the license revoked.