Police: Man Crushed To Death In Manhattan Elevator Accident

Erica Brosnan
August 22, 2019 - 6:05 pm
FDNY ambulance

Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Police say a man was killed Thursday morning in a Manhattan high-rise apartment building after becoming pinned between the elevator car and the shaft.

The incident happened just after 8:30 a.m. inside an apartment building on Third Avenue in Kips Bay.

A preliminary investigation revealed the 30-year-old victim, identified by police as Samuel Charles Waisbren, was trying to get out of the elevator when it continued to go downward and trapped him in between.

Emergency personnel responded and Waisbren was pronounced dead at the scene. Firefighters brought number of others from the elevator to safety.

Police and building inspectors continue to investigate. It’s unclear what caused the elevator accident.

In a statement, Lenny Legotte, business manager from the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 1, said the accident is "unfortunately just the latest example in a series of tragedies involving elevators in New York State over the last several years, and our hearts go out to the victim’s family at this difficult time.” 

He pointed to the accident and called on New York lawmakers to pass new legislation to ensure every elevator in the state is safe.

“We can’t let another innocent person die as a result of improper training. It is time for New York to join more than 30 other states that already have strong elevator safety laws,” he said.

After nine years of discussion, the Elevator Safety Act was passed by both houses of the State Legislature in the 2019 legislative session.