A 30-year-old man died in Manhattan after the elevator he was trying to exit apparently malfunctioned and trapped him, pinning him between the elevator car and the shaft wall, officials say.
The incident took place just before 8:30 a.m. in an elevator inside a high rise known as the Manhattan Promenade in Kips Bay.
The man, later identified as Samuel Waisbren, was trying to exit the elevator when it somehow moved and trapped him, according to officials.
Video of the scene showed emergency crews peering down the shaft of where Waisbren became stuck. Crews attempted to take pieces of the elevator apart as he remained trapped against the wall of the elevator shaft right between the first floor and the basement.
“The elevator hit the lobby. People were trying to exit and as he was exiting the car moved, trapping the patient,” FDNY Deputy Chief Anthony Arpaia said. “They had to work a long time, pretty hard to get the elevator car moved and distract the patient.”
Unfortunately, Waisbren was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officials say he was one of seven people on the elevator. However, others in the elevator they managed to get off safely and no other injuries were reported.
An investigation is ongoing.
In a statement, the Department of Buildings said: “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.”
Residents say they're heartbroken but not surprised, telling News 4 the elevators have malfunctioned many times. The DOB has issued elevator citations at the location before.
"A life could have been saved, it shouldn’t have to take someone dying to have a management company realize there’s an issue with the elevators," resident Dayna Sargen said.
News 4 reached out to ATA Enterprises, the company that oversees the building's property management, for comment.
The medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death.