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DOB: Elevator Was Being Repaired Prior To Fatal Accident

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A Manhattan elevator that malfunctioned and killed a woman was being worked on just hours before the tragic accident.

A Department of Buildings spokesman said Thursday that workers were doing electrical maintenance on the elevator Wednesday.

Police say Suzanne Hart, 41, was getting into the elevator on the first floor of 285 Madison Avenue when it shot up unexpectedly, trapping her between the elevator and the shaft.


She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Earlier in the day, Hart's boyfriend, Chris Dicksen, spoke with reporters about his loss outside the couple's Brooklyn Heights home.

"I'm sorry I just don't have the words. She was the bright spot of my life. What can I say?" Dicksen said.

The 28-story building is owned by Wire & Plastic Products, the parent company of advertising agency Young & Rubicam, where Hart worked.

Two people in the elevator at the time were treated at the hospital for trauma.

The accident had employees of nearby Midtown buildings second guessing their own safety while riding elevators.

"It's horrifying to think this could happen with modern technology in a city like Manhattan with state-of-the-art services and buildings," said one Madison Avenue worker.

"I definitely would think twice about rushing in now. It's definitely something that is scary thinking about it," said another.

The DOB says the building's 13 elevators have been cited for 56 violations over the past 10 years, but that all were eventually resolved.

Young & Rubicam kept its employees at home Thursday.

The office may not reopen until Monday.

Elevator Tech Charged In 2010 Brooklyn Incident

An elevator repairman who is linked to a similar incident on Christmas Day in Brooklyn last year was indicted Thursday on first degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Surveillance video shows Debra Jordan, 47, getting her leg caught in the closing doors of an elevator in the lobby at SUNY Downstate Medical Center while her daughter looked on in horror.

The elevator dragged her up several flights and video taken from each floor shows her trapped and screaming for help.

She suffered a broken arm and leg.

She spent three months in a hospital and is still undergoing rehab.

Video taken on the eighth floor appears to show repairman Jason Jordan, 27, looking at the trapped woman, turning around and leaving the hospital.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes says Jordan disregarded industry standards by disabling a safety switch that prevents the elevator from moving when the doors are open.

"What is truly disturbing is that while hospital staff and members of the New York city Fire Department hurried to save Miss Jordan, the defendant seeing what he'd done fled the hospital without saying a word or offering help," Hynes said.

Jordan faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

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