Workers of an elevator maintenance company "failed to follow the most basic safety procedures" when they repaired a midtown lift that later went haywire and took the life of an ad executive, officials said today.
The Departments of Buildings and Investigation determined that workers of Transel Elevator Inc. disabled the safety circuit controlling the doors on one of the elevators they were fixing at 285 Madison Ave. last Dec. 11, a common practice during repairs.
But when they left, they didn't re-engage the safety device, officials said.
The elevator accelerated upwards from the lobby with its doors open, dragging Suzanne Hart, 41, a Young and Rubicam executive, to her death as she stepped inside.
The timing was heartbreaking.
Video security footage from the lobby showed that seconds before Hart tried to walk into the cab, two passengers pressed call buttons prompting the elevator to start moving to higher floors with the door wide open.
Officials said the workers also failed to post signs warning of a repair was in progress and didn't notify the Buildings Department to request an inspection before putting the elevator back in service.