Elderly Man Critically Hurt in Harlem Elevator Accident

By Lori Bordonaro
|  Tuesday, Jan 1, 2013  |  Updated 10:43 AM EDT
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People who live in one Harlem apartment building are asking for new elevators after an elderly tenant was critically injured after being trapped between floors.  News 4's Lori Bordonaro reports.

Lori Bordonaro

People who live in one Harlem apartment building are asking for new elevators after an elderly tenant was critically injured after being trapped between floors. News 4's Lori Bordonaro reports.

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An 84-year-old man was critically hurt when he got trapped between floors in an elevator in his Harlem apartment building, officials say.

"All I could see was his legs dangling from the back elevator," said witness Elijah Williams, who said he heard the man's screams when he became pinned between the first and second floors.

The elevator at the New York City Housing Authority-run building on 105th Street started going up before the doors fully closed, according to another neighbor.

"Half his body got caught inside the elevator, his legs were jiggling out," he said. 

Firefighters worked to remove the man from the elevator, and he was taken to Harlem Hospital in critical condition with a possible leg fracture. 

Residents said the building's elevators have a history of problems, and the elevator that hurt the man Monday was having problems before the incident. 

The building is home to many elderly and disabled residents like Williams, who is in a wheelchair. 

"My mother is 80 years old. We are both stuck in the house," he said. "We can't leave because we're scared we can't get back upstairs.

NYCHA would not confirm whether it had any complaints on record. A spokesperson would only say the incident was being investigated. 

In the meantime, residents crammed into the one working elevator Monday afternoon as a repairman worked on the other. But that's only a quick fix, according to residents, who are asking for new elevators. 

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