Man Found Dead in Flushing Elevator Shaft, Officials Say
QUEENS — A man was found dead on top of a Flushing elevator car Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The man was found lying on top of the elevator shortly after 1 p.m. at 41-90 Frame Place in Flushing, police and fire officials said. He had suffered trauma to the body, and was pronounced dead at the scene, a police spokeswoman said.
Police said it was not yet clear how he'd fallen into the shaft, but neighbors were quick to complain about what they described as chronic elevator problems.
A complaint was issued against the building on March 25 because the elevator had not been working since March 19, according to the Department of Buildings website.
Chirou Zhu, 65, who lives on the first floor and uses a wheelchair, said the elevator breaks frequently.
Each floor has a door to access the elevator shaft and the elevator has sliding doors, Zhu said. About three weeks ago, Zhu pressed the button for the basement and opened the pull-door only to find the elevator car was not on the floor.
"It’s too dangerous," he said. "I used it every day. It could have happened to me."
Zhu said a police officer showed him a photo of the scene in the elevator shaft to identify the victim. The man looked to be in his 50s or 60s and had a mini refrigerator lying on his chest, according to Zhu.
Doris Cassinelli, 41, who has lived on the first floor for 20 years, said the elderly and disabled people who live in the building often need help getting up the stairs because the elevator is chronically broken.
"This was gonna happen," said Cassinelli. "They fix this elevator every two days. Every two days they come back and it never gets [permanently] fixed."
The investigation is ongoing, police said.