Greenpoint Gazette

Buildings Department Orders Inspection of Similar Elevators in City that Killed Williamsburg Man


The City’s Buildings Commissioner, Rick Chandler, has issued an order to examine similar elevators in buildings across the city after an accident in a Williamsburg building’s elevator last week left one man dead.

On October 2, Eran Modan, a 37-year-old Israeli man was killed while boarding an elevator at 156 Hope Street.

An investigation by the New York Times revealed that Modan was boarding the elevator with several other friends, who were all visiting a friend who lives in the six-story building.

The elevator is designed to hold 14 people and the security footage revealed that were approximately 10 people on board. The Times article also points out that there may have been heavy music equipment on board.

Modan became trapped between the elevator cab and the shaft when it suddenly plunged from the lobby level to the basement, and was killed as a result.

The model of elevator in question can typically take in 125 percent more than its 2,100-pound weight limit, but investigators are still looking into the exact details of incident.

Commissioner Chandler’s investigation revealed that the specific model of the elevator — Global Tardif Machine Room-Less Elevator with Leroy Somer Z2-Z3 AC Gearless Machine and Warner Brakes – could have been deficient.

According to the Buildings Department, most of these types of elevators were installed in 2000, but have now gone out of use with only a handful of them active in the city.

The Commissioner’s order now asks that building owners or supervisors where such an elevator exists must carry out an equipment test by a licensed firm and then submit the results to the department.

Until that time the Department has asked that these elevators either be operated manually by building staff, which has been deemed safe by the city agency, or desist from operating them completely until the appropriate checks have been made.

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