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Coney Island elevator fatality claims infant's life

This week, a 6-week-old infant died tragically after a faulty elevator in a Brooklyn high rise caused her stroller to plummet eight stories down into the elevator shaft.

The baby and her 21-year-old mother landed on top of a car that was being repaired, although no signage was posted stating the elevator was out of service.

The building, located in Coney Island, has a long history of code violations and having residents complain about the elevator.

The new mom and baby were headed out from the 23rd floor of the Sea Rise II apartments at approximately 10:30 a.m., on Oct. 13, when the tragic accident occurred. When the elevator doors opened, the mother pushed the stroller in, not realizing the car was six stories beneath. The mother also fell, and landed on top of her baby, still in the stroller. The elevator then fell eight stories to the 15th floor.

The mother's screams alerted a repairman who rescued her from the shaft. Then he saw the baby.

The mother was transported to Coney Island Hospital. She was injured but physicians expect she will survive. Despite resuscitative efforts at the scene, the infant did not survive the plunge.

The building's tenants complained the night before the fatal accident about the elevator. A mechanic with Centennial Elevator Co. arrived the next morning at 9 a.m. to work on the malfunctioning car. Tenants reported that their building is undergoing a major reconstruction.

The spokesperson for HP Bay Park I, the property's owner, stated, "The incident is now under active investigation, and we are cooperating fully with all authorities and agencies to determine the facts surrounding the event."

The elevator company is under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration at two different sites in the city. An employee who answered the phone at their business said Centennial had no comment about the fatality.

One of the complaints is at the site in lower Manhattan where a company mechanic had his arm amputated while conducting a May elevator inspection.

When owners and/or property managers fail to safeguard their premises and a tragedy occurs, victims and the survivors of the deceased may file premises liability litigation in order to receive compensation.

Source: New York Daily News, "Brooklyn building where 6-week-old baby fell to death down elevator shaft has 50 open violations," Edgar Sandoval, Greg B. Smith & Thomas Tracy, Oct. 13, 2016

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