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Manhattan electrician becomes trapped by elevator, dies

An 53-year-old electrician, who had been working in the elevator shaft at a new 52-story high rise in Manhattan on Sunday, July 23, was found dead within it early in the morning the following day. It's believed he died of asphyxiation as he attempted to escape the elevator shaft once power had been cut off to it, trapping him inside.

The Jamaican native and United States Army veteran had been working on the elevator on the building's fifth floor on behalf of Patriot Electric when the electricity was cut to the elevator. Evidence found at the scene shows the man tried to crawl out of the shaft through an opening in it; however, it appears he soon became trapped between the car and the shaft.

The 52-story commercial condo tower is listed as being owned by Success Academy Charter Schools. It is slated to house 478 luxury apartments as well as 30,000 square feet worth of amenities. They reportedly paid the building's former owner, Extell Development some $68 million for the high rise back in December.

Upon receiving notification of the incident, the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) immediately entered a cease-use order prohibiting anyone from either working on or using the elevator. That order will remain in effect until the DOB has had an opportunity to complete their investigation into the incident.

In response to a recent increase in construction-related injuries and deaths, DOB officials have begun pushing to have new guidelines instituted aimed at protecting workers from injury. Currently, they are proposing that workers should have to undergo an additional 54 to 71 hours' worth of training before they're allowed to work on construction sites.

When construction-related injuries or deaths like this occur, there are certain circumstances in which it may be most appropriate for a workers' compensation claim or a wrongful death lawsuit to be filed instead. In learning more about the specifics surrounding your case, a New York wrongful death attorney can provide guidance as to what option is most appropriate in your legal matter.

Source: The Real Deal, "Electrician dies at 555 Tenth Avenue," July 24, 2017

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