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Man dies after elevator malfunction in NYC traps him between car and shaft

August 22, 2019 - 4:47 pm

iStock(NEW YORK) -- A 30-year-old man was killed in a freak accident when the elevator he was exiting in a New York City apartment building suddenly plummeted, crushing him in the process.

The man, identified as Samuel Charles Waisbren, was a resident of the building at 344 Third Ave. in the Kips Bay neighborhood of New York City, police said.

Waisbren was exiting the elevator in the building's lobby after two other passengers had already left the elevator just before 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, according to ABC New York City station WABC-TV. When the doors began to close, the elevator unexpectedly malfunctioned and dropped to the basement.

Waisbren became trapped between the elevator and the shaft wall. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

One resident of the building, which is called Manhattan Promenade, told WABC-TV on Thursday that riding the elevator was scary and that it reminded her of a Halloween ride.

"They always jump between floors," the resident told WABC-TV. "It's really bad."

In May, the city's Department of Buildings fined Manhattan Promenade $1,280 because it had found that a door-zone restrictor in one of the 22-story building's elevators had been tampered with and "rendered inoperative." WABC-TV said the building had two elevators but it was unclear which elevator was involved in the fine.

"DOB is investigating this incident aggressively and will take all appropriate enforcement actions. Elevators are the safest form of travel in New York due to the city’s stringent inspection and safety requirements. We’re determined to find out what went wrong at this building and seek ways to prevent incidents like this in the future," it said in a statement.

The incident was captured by the apartment building's surveillance system and the police were reviewing that footage.

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