NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Who is to blame after a 6-week-old baby girl fell down an elevator shaft in Coney Island, Brooklyn this week?
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, the city Department of Investigation is probing the tragedy.
Department of Buildings forensic engineers and the Department of Investigation were at the building Friday, a day after baby Areej Ali feel down the elevator shaft and died. The investigators were trying to determine how the horrifying incident happened.
CBS2’s Kramer was told by a security guard that news media had been warned they were not welcome on the premises, and she was escorted off the property.
A veil of silence cloaked the complex of buildings on Neptune Avenue where the baby died.
The girl’s 21-year-old mother pushed the button to call the elevator, sources told CBS2. The mother then pushed the baby in her stroller into the elevator on the 23rd floor. The car was floors below.
Experts said the door was not supposed to open, especially since repairmen were at the site to fix the equipment.
“It is not supposed to happen,” said elevator expert Patrick Carrajat. “The elevator should not open unless the elevator is at that floor.”
People who live in the building where the baby died, and others in the complex, said broken elevators are common.
“In the four buildings, all elevators very bad,” said Igor Nazaroe.
Within minutes, Nazaroe, who lives in the building adjacent to where the baby died, was back to report one of his elevators broken. He invited CBS2’s crew to see it.
CBS2 found two repairmen from Centennial Elevator, the company responsible for all the elevators in the complex. They declined to comment.
Complicating the investigation is a stunning fact – in New York, elevator repairmen are not required to be licensed.
“Unfortunately in New York, we have no licensing,” Carrajat said. “the person who does my nails has to be licensed, but the person who fixes your elevator does not.”
City Building Commissioner Rick Chandler called Areej’s death an “inexcusable tragedy.”
“The property owner must make these elevators, and all the buildings in the complex, safe for residents and visitors,” Chandler said in a statement.