Woman Killed in NYC Elevator Accident

The AP reports that “a woman was killed in a freak elevator mishap Wednesday at a Madison Avenue office building, police and fire officials said. Officials said the woman was stepping onto the elevator on the first floor when either her foot or leg became caught in the closing doors. The car then rose abruptly, dragging her body into the shaft and killing her, officials said.”

At the time the report was released, the victim’s name was not released. She was subsequently identified as Suzanne Hart, a 41 year old advertising executive. There were two other passengers in the elevator at the time, who were physically unharmed but taken to the hospital to be checked for possible emotional trauma.

It is an unfortunate incident that comes just days after the primary tenant of the building, Y&R advertising agency, announced plans to move their headquarters from the building to another location. Y&R is one of several tenants in the building.

Elevator Deaths and Personal Injury

In spite of many people having fears about riding in elevators – based on fear of heights, claustrophobia or a combination of both – elevators are actually very safe, according to a Yahoo! contributor. William Browning, in a post subsequent to the NYC elevator tragedy, reported that

“Accidents with elevator cars are rare. Deaths are even more uncommon. Since they are electrical devices, when power goes out there can be difficulties. Even with safety features, sometimes people can become trapped in elevators for minutes or even hours. NPR reported in January 2010 that 14 people became trapped in an elevator in the Burj Dubai and then were brought to safety within 15 minutes. No one has died actually in an elevator, according to the public radio piece.”

In spite of all the safety features that modern elevators are equipped with, it is important to exercise caution around elevators, as with any other type of moving passenger vehicle to avoid personal injury or death. Additionally, with elevators there is a risk of falling into the elevator shaft – which has caused deaths throughout the years.

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