Suzanne Hart: Killed minutes after workers left the elevator

41-year-old Suzanne Hart's Facebook profile photo.
facebook

An elevator crushed Suzanne Hart two minutes after workers stepped out of the same elevator and left the building, according to a new report.

Mechanics had been repairing elevators where Hart, 41, was killed in December at her 285 Madison Ave. office building, in an incident that shook the city.

A new 84-page report from the Department of Buildings and the city’s Department of Investigation reports a safety device was disabled on the elevator that shot up and crushed Hart.

While working on the elevators, workers disabled the safety device to allow mechanics to climb on top of the elevator cabs, investigators reported, and this allowed the elevator to move with its doors open.

The safety system was apparently not re-activated, investigators concluded.

Investigators said Michael Hill, a mechanic with 28 years of experience, confirmed he used a wire to override the system, which allows the elevator to move with its door open while workers fix problems.

Hill told investigators he removed the wire before the incident, taking it with him to another job site. Investigators noted that they found a wire near the elevator’s control box.

The morning of Dec. 14, as Hart moved toward elevator No. 9, two passengers entered and hit the buttons for their floors. Seconds later, the elevator rose with the doors open as Hart stepped in, killing her.

Workers “failed to follow basic safety procedures,” according to investigators, including placing caution tape across the elevator and notifying the DOB to inspect the elevators before putting them back in service.

“Their carelessness cost a woman her life,” DOB Commissioner Robert LiMandri said. “Their blatant disregard for the law and public safety is inexcusable. If these safety measures were in place, this tragedy would have been prevented.”

The DOB suspended the license of Transel’s owner, John Fichera, and slapped the company with 23 violations, carrying a minimum fine of $117,000.

“The investigation starkly showed elevator safety protocols were ignored,” DOI Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said. “These findings are a caution to all licensed building professionals in the city, especially those in the elevator industry.”

The DOB referred their findings to the Manhattan district attorney’s office for potential prosecution, where a spokeswoman said it is under investigation.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.