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Another Tragic Elevator Accident

CKandF PartnersAt Cash, Krugler and Fredericks, we represent families whose entire lives changed in an instant when unsafe elevators injured their children. These stories are devastating and as a result of what we’ve learned while representing these families, we’ve become so passionate about elevator safety that we traveled to Washington, D.C. to present evidence to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. We’ve seen the effects of entirely avoidable elevator tragedies and we will continue to work to prevent them.

We keep a close eye on elevator accidents. They occur more often than most of the public realizes. The simple function of an elevator – conveying passengers between floors – belies the complex machinery and design that goes into an elevator. Improperly maintained elevators are a recipe for disaster. The injuries sustained during a serious elevator accident can be severe and life-long.

This month, investigators in Istanbul found three instances of negligence that likely contributed to the death of ten construction workers. The workers were on site at a planned residential high rise when catastrophe struck. The elevator they were riding in crashed to the ground from the 32nd floor.

So far, investigators have found several preventable reasons for the deadly crash.

Stoppers, small but crucial pieces of the elevator’s mechanism, were missing. The stoppers would have kept the elevator attached to guide rails on high floors had they been in place. And the elevator was used to transport workers and materials, but did not have the required parachute system in place. (The parachute system is another mechanism designed to protect passengers.)

Elevators are complex machines. On a construction site, their operation isn’t as simple as pressing a button. A qualified, experienced crew member should be in charge of their operation. On the site in Istanbul, novice construction workers were put in charge of elevator operation. The day of the accident, a worker who had been on the site for only five days was operating the elevator.

Ten families have lost beloved members. Ten families are in mourning because of callous disregard for safety. Our hearts go out to them.

-Andy Cash, Alwyn Fredericks, Dave Krugler

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