A 6-week-old child is left dead after she and her mother fall down an elevator shaft in an apartment building in Brooklyn.
“It was heartbreaking”
Aber Al-Rahabi, 21, was heading out with her daughter Areej Ali, when tragedy struck. Al-Rahabi went and pushed her daughter’s stroller into the open elevator, not knowing that it was just an empty shaft. The two of them fell eight stories down the elevator shaft.
Al-Rahabi survived the fall, but sadly her 6-week-old daughter didn’t.
According to Lida Martori, one of the neighbors, Areej Ali “Looked like a little doll.” She adds, “I’ll have that image in my head the rest of my life. It was heartbreaking.”
“It’s not something I’m going to forget”
The elevator was out of service and was supposed to be undergoing repairs. The mother and her daughter fell on top of the elevator; the stroller fell in first and the mother landed on top of her daughter. The elevator car then jerked, and fell eight stories down. A repairman heard Al-Rahabi screaming, and immediately went to help them.
The pair fell from the 23rd floor, and was rescued down on the 15th floor.
Salah Ali, the little girl’s grandfather said “I can’t believe it. She’s new. She was a month old. That’s my grandchild.”
The firefighters who responded to the incident were horrified by what they saw inside the elevator shaft. One of them added, “It’s not something I’m going to forget.”
The building was under a reconstruction project
According to the tenants, the building was being reconstructed. However, authorities are not sure if there were any warnings indicating that the elevator was under repair.
Harold Noel, one of the family’s neighbors said that he took a ride down the elevator shortly before it went under repair. “It was a little shaky,” he shares. “I thought it was because of the construction going on. My wife called me and said, ‘Our neighbor fell down the elevator.’”
According to city records, there were about 20 or so complaints about the building having faulty elevators. Additionally, the building has 50 building code violations, which include 4 elevator violations.
Elevator Safety for your family
According to WebMD, there have been more than 29,000 serious injuries in the US from 1990 to 2004. Additionally, 26% of these injuries happened to 1 and 2-year-olds. This is why it’s very important for parents to know how to keep their children safe.
Here are some things that you always have to keep in mind when using elevators with your kids:
- Always keep an eye on children close to or inside elevators – Never leave your child unattended near or inside elevators. Be sure to stay with them to prevent them from accidentally going in the elevator.
- Set an example for your kids by NOT trying to prevent elevator doors from closing – Most people, especially those in a hurry, try to prevent elevator doors from closing by putting their hands, or their feet in the door. You should never do this as this can cause injury, and children might think that it’s okay to do.
- Always be careful when entering or exiting elevators – In some cases, elevators might be under repair but there won’t be a sign. This is why it’s very important to check first if the elevator is in working order before going in, especially if you’re with your kids. The same goes whenever you’re stepping out of the elevator.
Sources: nydailynews.com, edition.cnn.com, webmd.com