We’re hearing reports that there’s been an accident in an elevator at 285 Madison, the Young and Rubicam building, that’s resulted in 1 person dead and 2 injured, according to the New York Times. The FDNY confirms the incident and tells us that the elevator fell at least 2 floors, and that 3 people are involved: one in “very bad shape.” The other two are being evaluated.
The incident was called in at 10 a.m.
We’ll update as we have more.
Update: Here’s a live stream from the Bravest, the FDNY’s Twitter feed.
1 has been confirmed dead; 2 are injured but, according to the FDNY “I think O.K.” There is still not that much information at this point.
The Atlantic Wire’s Adam Martin is tweeting from his vantage point across the street. He says Madison is closed between 40th and 41st and that a helicopter landed on the roof of the building. [Update: He says a helicopter was heard overhead but he doesn’t think it landed.]
From NBC NY: 285 Madison is a 25-story building. The person killed is reportedly a woman. [FDNY says it’s a 28 story building, confirms it was a female killed.]
Andy Newman of the New York Times City Room notes that “Elevator inspection records online show that there have been violations on the building’s 13 elevators over the years.” (The FDNY told us at this point they don’t, at this point, have much information on what caused today’s accident.) Further, per Newman: All of the companies currently housed in 285 Madison had announced earlier this month that they’d be moving out of the building.
Here’s a photo of the scene outside.
According to AgencySpy, people are not being allowed to enter or leave the building at this time.
Martin reports that Madison Avenue is open to traffic again, however, and that things seem to be settling down.
As for what happened: The Post reports that the victim, who has not been identified, walked into the elevator at the first floor, when it started to ascend with its doors open. Horribly: “The woman became pinned between floors after the elevator started to move before she could fully enter the car.”
According to Andy Newman at the Times, the woman killed has been identified as 41-year-old Suzanne Hart, “director of new business content and experience at Y&R.”
This is terribly, terribly sad. Our hearts go out to everyone who knew her.
According to NY1, the two other people in the elevator were women in their 20s, and were both taken to NYU Hospital and treated for trauma. NY1 quotes an employee of the building who believes he was in an elevator in the same shaft when the accident occurred:
“The elevator was either next to me or one over, I heard this loud ‘boom, crash,’ and the whole thing kind of shaked. I got off and I didn’t really think too much of it, then I heard somebody died,” said the employee.
An investigation as to what caused the tragedy is underway.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 14, 2011