2 People Hurt After Elevator Plummets in Greenwich Village, Officials Say

By Natalie Musumeci and Aidan Gardiner  on August 6, 2014 12:18pm

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 An elevator fell half a floor and got stuck in a Greenwich Village building, officials said.
2 Workers Freed From in Greenwich Village Elevator
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GREENWICH VILLAGE — Two construction workers were hurt when the cables of an apartment building elevator they were in suddenly snapped and dropped them half a floor Wednesday morning, officials said.

The workers had opened up the elevator car's ceiling hatch and had pushed pipes through it as they rode up 56 West 11th St. about 11:30 a.m. when the pipes got tangled in the cables and snapped them, officials said.

The elevator dropped half a floor and wedged between the eighth and ninth floors, officials said. 

"The counterweight snapped, causing the elevator to drop half a floor before it became wedged," said FDNY Chief Dan Donoghue.

"I heard a big bang. My computer moved across my desk," said Michele Garden, 70, a third floor tenant.

Before freeing the two men, whose names and ages were not released, responders first secured the elevator cab by tying ropes to its cables and fastening support struts, Donoghue said.

The men were extricated to the eighth floor about an hour later, taken to Bellevue hospital and treated for minor injuries, officials said.

The Department of Buildings was also responding to the incident.

The nine-story building, which shares the block with The New School, was bought for $18.5 million in 2013.

The workers were part of a 12-apartment renovation in the building, tenants said.

Tenants said they weren't shocked by Wednesday's elevator accident because the equipment "frequently" malfunctions and traps riders.

The building has ten open elevator violations dating back to 2006, records show. Three of those were issued this year, the most recent of which was from June 6, records show.

"It does make me nervous," Garden said.

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