A horrifying accident occurred the morning of May 19, 2021 when an elevator suddenly dropped four stories to the ground, killing a construction supervisor and seriously injuring another worker. The incident happened around 8:15 a.m. at 20 Bruckner Blvd. in Mott Haven.
According to reports from other workers, the two men, employed by SDI Construction, were loading equipment into the elevator when it fell. First responders were called to the scene immediately. Both men were found unconscious inside of the elevator. Sadly, the 30-year-old site supervisor was pronounced dead at the scene. The other construction worker, age 29, was brought to nearby Lincoln Hospital in critical condition. Our thoughts and prayers are with the workers’ loved ones at this time.
It is currently unclear what caused the elevator to fall. The construction crew had permits for elevator work and the building itself had multiple active permits for projects including interior renovation, exterior work, vertical enlargement, and change of use. Work was being done to convert the building into the main campus for a K-12 “Dream” Charter School.
Officials from the Department of Buildings (DOB) are actively investigating the incident. According to reports from CBS, the construction site does not currently have any violations. However, the site had experienced problems over the last year, including a worker who was seriously injured when he fell from second floor scaffolding in December of 2019. Also, the site was temporarily shut down approximately one year ago due to expired permits.
Workers at the site were left shocked and heartbroken by the accident. Construction worker Santiago Veles, 33, described the alarming events to reporters, saying “I was working on the first floor with my colleague and we came out to look. We saw the dust from the fall. It was dust all around.”
Elevator collapses have the potential to cause catastrophic damage. Elevator installers and repairers account for the largest percentage of all elevator-related deaths in the U.S., according to the Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety & Health (ELCOSH). The leading causes of death in elevator accidents include caught in/between accidents, falls, being struck by objects, and collapses.
In order to avoid serious accidents, proper safety rules and regulations must be followed. When performing work on an elevator, workers must first ensure that elevator parts cannot move while the repairs are being made. Every worker should be provided with appropriate fall protection and must be properly trained in order to be qualified to complete elevator work.
Additionally, the DOB requires elevators be inspected at least twice every year to ensure they are operating safely. If an elevator requires maintenance, it is important that these repairs are done promptly and adequately. Substandard repair work can lead to a catastrophic accident later on.
Elevator accidents can have extremely severe consequences for those involved. If you or a loved one were injured in an elevator accident that happened as a result of another party’s negligence, it may be in your best interest to consult a qualified lawyer to discuss your options moving forward. The construction accident lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy understand the life-altering impact an elevator accident can have.
Results for clients injured in elevator accidents include:
- $7,200,000 settlement in a wrongful death case for the surviving family of a 25-year-old man who died after falling down an elevator shaft in Brooklyn
- $7,000,000 settlement for a worker who suffered serious injuries requiring nine surgeries after falling 30 feet down an elevator shaft at a Manhattan job site
- $5,500,000 settlement for a truck driver who suffered spinal injuries as a result of a freight elevator accident
- $3,000,000 settlement for an elevator technician who suffered injuries including multiple herniated discs when he fell through a particle board while working on a disabled elevator