A 43-year-old repairman trying to help free eight people trapped in a skyscraper’s elevator fell more than 20 floors down a shaft to his death yesterday.

Seven employees of prominent law firm McCarthy Tetrault and a messenger from Parss Courier became trapped in an express elevator below the 44th floor in the TD Bank Tower, in the city’s financial hub, around 8:30 a.m.

The passengers called security and a repairman from the Otis Elevator Co. was sent to the scene, said Lorne Buckingham, a division commander for Toronto Fire Services.

Buckingham said the man somehow fell down the elevator shaft and died, but it’s not known exactly how far he plunged. Another fire official said they believe he fell from between the 29th and 20th floors to the bottom of the shaft.

Otis identified the man as Andrew Hill, 43, who lived in Toronto and had worked for the company for nine years. The company would not release any further personal details, but CTV reported that he had five children.

The first stop for the express elevator is the 44th floor. Officials believe the elevator was stuck around the 42nd floor for about five hours. The stranded passengers were finally freed around 2 p.m., and were given some water and were checked out by paramedics.

McCarthy Tetrault, which occupies floors 44 to 53 in the building, urged their seven stranded employees to go home, said company spokesman Darryl Cruz.

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