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20-Foot Elevator Shaft Fall Seriously Injures Worker In Columbus Circle; Focusing On Elevator Safety Following Tragic Accident

Friday, September 26th, 2014

The New York City attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy know a thing or two about how an elevator accident can impact an injured victim and their loved ones. After all, they have helped countless people who have been seriously injured in elevator accidents. Today, they are bringing you news of a frightening elevator accident that took place in Manhattan’s famed Columbus Circle. Learn more about the accident and some helpful information about elevator safety, in general, by reading below.

A 45-year-old male worker was seriously injured when he fell down an elevator shaft in Columbus Circle this morning. The worker, whose identity has not yet been released, was removed by first responders and rushed to New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in serious condition. Reports indicate he is now in stable condition and is expected to survive.

The accident happened Thursday at about 6:15 a.m. inside the Time Warner Center located at 10 Columbus Circle in Manhattan. When FDNY and EMS responders arrived they found the injured worker in the basement. Reports indicate he had fallen 20 or 25 feet down the elevator shaft from the first floor to the basement. Further details about how the accident occurred are not yet available. An investigation into the accident is ongoing. Agencies like The Department of Buildings (DOB) and The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be seeking to learn the cause of the accident and how it could have been avoided. The Time Warner Center is also investigating the fall but the company has declined to provide further information about the elevator shaft accident at this time.

Elevator-related accidents like this one can be devastating, causing serious and lifelong injuries and even death. What can cause an elevator accident? Often improper maintenance of an elevator, failure to safely repair a malfunctioning elevator, failure to comply with code regulations and safety device failures are the causes of an elevator accident. While accidents can occur in elevators and elevator shafts for a variety of reasons, many are not immediately apparent to the unsuspecting worker or casual rider. It is always a sound idea to consult with an experienced elevator accident attorney who appreciates some of the telltale signs of the different causes of elevator accidents. Below are some elevator safety tips to keep in mind when using elevators and hopefully avoid preventable incidents.


Before you get in the elevator

-Look down and check that the elevator is level with the floor before you enter (or exit) the car

-If an elevator car is full, do not crowd onto it; wait patiently for the next elevator

-If the elevator door is closing, do not try to stop it; wait patiently for the next elevator

-If there is a fire, do not take the elevator; take the stairs instead

Once you are in the elevator

-Make sure to keep clothing items, like ties, scarves and purses, clear of closing elevator doors

-Stand next to the elevator wall, and hold onto the handrail if available

-Pay attention to the floor indications

-Do NOT lean on the elevator doors

-Do not jump

-Do not try to use a body part to hold the door open; instead press the “door open” button

-Do not exit if the elevator stops more than nine inches from the landing

If you get stuck in an elevator

-Ring the alarm by pushing or pulling the alarm button to call for assistance

-If a phone is available, call for help

-Move to the rear center of the elevator and face the doors while waiting for help

-Do NOT try to pry the doors open

-Do NOT attempt to leave the elevator car without the help of building management or an emergency responder; trying to escape could result in injury

-Always follow the instructions from the building management or emergency responder

-Remain calm and wait for help

Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP is devoted to helping elevator accident victims, and has experience in representing individuals who have been severely injured or killed in elevator-related accidents. The firm is committed to helping elevator accident victims and their families during a very difficult time. The Elevator Accident Attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP have recovered more than $800,000,000 in verdicts and settlements for their injured clients. They are available for a free consultation at 212-736-5300. You can also learn more about the firm by visiting the firm’s website at


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*Safety-Tip List compiled from information provided by the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation and the New York City Department of Buildings


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