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NYC City Council To Discuss Elevator Safety Bills In Wake Of Recent Accidents

(credit: ClipArt)

(credit: ClipArt)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Lawmakers are set to discuss two bills aimed at improving elevator safety following several accidents in New York City.

The City Council is holding an oversight hearing Monday afternoon to examine elevator safety and hear testimony from Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri.

Earlier this month, Council Speaker Christine Quinn said one bill will demand licensing of elevator repair personnel and add a national certificate requirement to local tests.

A second bill will require the installation of more safety technology on elevators.

The legislation comes in the wake of several elevator accidents in recent months.

In March, 17-year-old Kenneth Lacen was in an elevator of a Bronx building when the cable snapped, sending it plunging from the fifth floor to the basement. He survived, but was treated for leg, back and neck injuries.

Also in March, a 45-year-old elevator mechanic was electrocuted while working at a building on Sixth Avenue.

In December of last year, advertising executive Suzanne Hart died after being crushed between the elevator and the shaft wall in a Midtown building office tower.

The elevator maintenance company, Transel, dismissed five mechanics and apprentices after a report released in February found that human error caused the elevator Hart was on to shoot up violently, crushing her body the moment she stepped on.

One of the fired workers admitted to investigators that he overrode a safety circuit found under a grate in the elevator shaft which later malfunctioned, though Hill insisted in the report that the elevator was safely back online by the time Hart was killed.

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