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Elevator that killed grocery worker was illegally installed, DOB says

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Posted at 4:32 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 16:32:23-05

HELL'S KITCHEN, Manhattan — An illegally installed small freight elevator caused the death of a supermarket employee in Manhattan this week, department of buildings officials said Friday.

Tuesday afternoon, DOB inspectors were called to the scene at West 43rd Street and Ninth Avenue — which is a Food Emporium store — to investigate reports of a fatal incident inside the store involving an elevator

The department said the initial investigation determined the employee was loading a small freight elevator in the basement of the building. The device moved upward, causing head trauma to the worker.

She succumbed to her injuries.

The small elevator was unregistered and illegal, a DOB spokesperson said Friday.

All elevator devices in New York City have to be registered and certified for compliance.

DOB issued a cease use order for the elevator and a violation to the building owner.

“This tragic incident shows just how dangerous unregistered illegally installed elevator devices can be for New Yorkers," Andrew Rudansky, a DOB spokesperson, said. "We have shut down the dumbwaiter, and we will be thoroughly investigating this incident.”