MIDTOWN (PIX11)—Investigators were back on the scene Thursday of a horrific, freak elevator accident that left a woman dead.
According to authorities, Suzanne Hart, a 41-year-old Y&R advertising executive was entering an elevator in her Midtown office when it spontaneously ascended, pinning her between two floors.
The disturbing incident unraveled at a building on Madison Avenue between 40th and 41st streets at about 10 a.m.
When the elevator shot upwards, witnesses say Hart became pinned between the first and second floor. The elevator then dropped, dragging the victim down two floors. The scene prompted screams of horror by nearby witnesses.
Hart was pronounced dead when responding EMS arrived to the scene.
Two passengers, who were on board the doomed elevator and witnessed the gruesome incident, were treated for trauma.
It took authorities several hours to free the remains of the victim stuck in the shaft.
As the investigation into the incident continued Thursday, many are asking how could this have happened? To answer that, PIX11 turned to Patrick Carrajet, widely considered one of the city's top elevator-safety experts. He looked at the office tower's records with us, showing 56 violations, some involving the elevators.
Carrajet said the amount of violations is not a lot "when we're talking about 13 elevators involved and how many years we're talking about, the building dept will only list them for 7 or 8 years if you take that and divide that by 56 and divide that by 13, you're talking about a couple of violations a year, on the entire building.
And he says violations don't mean an elevator can't run. "Things like a missing mirror in the corner? It's a violation. Certificate frame ripped off? Violation. A floor out of service is a violation, so yes, there are very serious violations called hazardous, and normally the city will shut it down.
The Department of Buildings says none of the recent violations were considered hazardous.
Manhattan Borough President Scott says the building has had 4 unsatisfactory elevator inspections in the last 4 months "This past June, an elevator was cited for a defect, again the problem is when you are cited for an unsatisfactory elevator inspection, no where can you find out what an unsatisfactory means."