Man Crushed to Death by Elevator in Manhattan Building

Man Crushed to Death by Elevator in Manhattan Building

Firefighters on Thursday found a man trapped in part of an elevator at the Manhattan Promenade, a Fire Department spokesman said.
Firefighters on Thursday found a man trapped in part of an elevator at the Manhattan Promenade, a Fire Department spokesman said.CreditCreditJefferson Siegel for The New York Times
Matthew Haag

By Matthew Haag

  • Aug. 22, 2019, 11:07 a.m. ET

A man was crushed to death in an elevator on Thursday morning at a Manhattan apartment building that had been recently fined for unsafe elevator conditions, the authorities said.

Firefighters responding to a 911 call for an elevator emergency at the Manhattan Promenade, in the Kips Bay neighborhood, found one man trapped in part of the elevator, which was stuck between the lobby and the basement floors, a Fire Department spokesman said.

That man, whose identity has not been made public, was pronounced dead at the scene. Firefighters were working to rescue three people who were on the elevator and appeared uninjured, the department said.

The Manhattan Promenade, a 23-story tower, has two elevators for tenants, and the city’s Department of Buildings fined the building nearly $1,300 in May after inspectors found that a safety feature on one of the elevators had been disabled or tampered with. The building was ordered to cease using that elevator until it was fixed.

Manhattan man crushed by elevator suffered massive injuries to neck and chest: medical examiner

By THOMAS TRACYNEW YORK DAILY NEWS |AUG 24, 2019 | 10:48 AM  

Manhattan man crushed by elevator suffered massive injuries to neck and chest: medical examiner
Samuel Waisbren (Handout)

The man crushed to death by a falling elevator in his luxury Kips Bay apartment building suffered extensive injuries to his neck and chest, autopsy results revealed Saturday.

Samuel Waisbren died from crushing blunt force injuries to his neck and torso, and “mechanical asphyxia,” meaning his breathing was violently hampered when he ended up getting pinned between the elevator and the shaft wall.AdvertisementPauseUnmuteLoaded: 0%Progress: 0%Remaining Time-0:23Fullscreen

The city medical examiner declared Waisbren’s death an accident.

Waisbren, 30, had taken the elevator down to the lobby of his 23-story Third Ave. apartment building, known as the Manhattan Promenade, with six other residents about 8:30 a.m. Thursday — but didn’t make it out alive.PAID POSTWhat Is This?

The building entrance is sealed off by NYPD officers after a fatal elevator accident at 344 Third Avenue on Aug. 22, 2019.
The building entrance is sealed off by NYPD officers after a fatal elevator accident at 344 Third Avenue on Aug. 22, 2019. (Jeff Bachner/for New York Daily News)

Waisbren was walking out of the elevator on the heels of another passenger when the lift suddenly plummeted, crushing him, according to officials and a building worker who witnessed the gruesome mishap.[More New York] Man found fatally shot on Queens street »

The passenger who made it off the elevator spun around and tried to help the trapped victim.

Waisbren, a Midwesterner who moved to the city six years ago, died at the scene.

Both the city’s Department of Buildings and the city Department of Investigation are investigating Waisbren’s death to see if the elevator that crushed him was defective.[More New York] Bronx drivers suing city say NYPD cop is padding overtime pay with bogus DWI arrests »

DOB inspectors are focusing their probe on what violations and lapses may have led to the tragedy. The DOI investigation is focused on any potential criminal aspects that may have contributed to Waisbren’s death.

The Buildings Department last inspected the elevator in March. An elevator maintenance company also inspected it in August, a city official noted.

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