Baby killed and mum injured after plunging 6 storeys when faulty lift wasn’t there when the doors opened
A six-week-old- baby girl has died after her mum pushed her pram into a lift when the doors opened and the lift wasn’t there The two fell down the left and as they both landed on the roof of the lift, the mother’s weight crushed her infant daughter to death.
The lift car – which was stuck around 8ft below, between the 22nd and 23rd floors – then plunged 6 storeys before stopping. The tragic accident happened at a high-rise riddled with violations, including 45 directly related to the lifts.
The 21 year old mother, Aberaqed Al-Rabah, told investigators that she didn’t notice that the elevator car wasn’t there when the doors opened — and just pushed the buggy containing 6-week-old Areej Ali into the open space, police sources said.
The impact killed the baby and sent the elevator plummeting down to the 17th floor, where first responders pulled them both out. Areej was pronounced dead shortly after at Coney Island Hospital.
The baby’s grandafther, 70 year old, Salah Ali, said the mother is in “bad shape.” “She’s in the hospital. She’s injured,” Ali told reporters at the scene. He said:
“It breaks my heart. That was my grandchild.”
A neighbour said when Areej’s father came home, he nearly passed out after he was told that his daughter was dead and how she had died.
“They’re all screaming and crying next door,” the neighbour added.
Another neighbour, Jeff Delacruz, who lives in the building, said his aunt spoke to Aberaqed and she kept saying:
“She keeps saying, ‘Everything is OK. It’s OK. God only gave me my baby for one month . . . She’s probably traumatized,” said Delacruz.
Residents said they had been trapped in the lift several times and it often just stopped, or the doors had to be forced open.
Elizabeth Delacruz said:
“About a week ago, the same one was out of service. The door just didn’t open,”
The Bay Park complex has a “chronic problem” with its lifts, according to one of hundreds of Department of Buildings complaints. There’s one active complaint from 30 September about the lift that caused Areej’s death.
There are also two complaints for that elevator from 17 July that have been resolved and a complaint from 9 March 2015, saying the it is “constantly getting out of service” and “has not been working for 2½ weeks.”
The Department of Buildings said the elevator involved was last inspected on 8 August, and one non-hazardous violation was issued because the emergency phone in the car didn’t work. But DOB inspectors determined it could “safely remain in operation.”
The Starrett Corporation, which owns the building, issued a statement saying:
“We are saddened by today’s tragic incident . . . The incident is now under active investigation and we are cooperating fully with all authorities and agencies to determine the facts surrounding the event. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the families involved and management is making arrangements to offer grief counseling upon request.”