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Firefighters Break Through Wall in NYT Building Elevator Rescue

By Tom Liddy | December 30, 2011 7:55pm
The New York Times building in Midtown.
The New York Times building in Midtown.
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Flickr/Matt Hutchinson

MANHATTAN — Firefighters were forced to break through a wall at the New York Times Building in Midtown Friday afternoon after a man became trapped in an elevator there for more than an hour, according to authorities and sources.

The mishap comes just weeks after Young & Rubicam ad executive Suzanne Hart was killed when an elevator at her building on Madison Avenue malfunctioned, trapping her between floors.

Friday's incident unfolded at the headquarters of the Gray Lady at 620 Eighth Ave., near 41st Street, at 10:20 a.m.

According to the FDNY, the elevator became stuck on the 11th floor. But because the elevator is express, there is no opening on that floor.

Fire officials said that they had to breach the shaft wall on that floor in order to get to the man, who works at BT Americas, an information technology firm on the 46th floor, according to the TImes.

In order to access the shaft wall, they went through the ceiling of a men's room on the 11th floor, the Times said.

After retrieving the man through a side hatch on the elevator car, they brought him back into the building through the bathroom at 11:45 a.m., according to the report.

He sustained no injuries, according to officials.

The Department of Buildings said that the incident is under investigation.

"Our inspectors are investigating the cause of the incident," said DOB spokesman Tony Sclafani. "A cease use order has been issued for the elevator, and repairs must be made before the device can go back into service."

The New York Times referred calls to Forest City Ratner, which manages the building.  Forest City did not immediately respond to requests for comment.