Cal State Employee Crushed to Death By Elevator

via LA Times

A long time employee of the Cal State Long Beach Foundation was killed last week after being crushed by an elevator. Annette Lujan, 48, was attempting to climb out of the elevator after it got stuck between floors.

Lujan climbed out of the elevator, but the car started moving again, Capt. Rich Brandt of the Long Beach Fire Department told the Daily 49er student newspaper.

The car dropped onto her, crushing her. Brandt said the car weighed 2,000 pounds and that it took more than an hour to lift the elevator off her.
University police and the Long Beach Fire Department were called to the scene after someone reported that Lujan was trapped.

The cause of the elevator malfunction is under investigation.

A spokeswoman for the California Department of Industrial Relations told the Long Beach Press-Telegram that the elevator had been inspected in April and received a clean bill of health. The state is now investigating the death. Officials said the incident underscores the dangers of people trying to climb out of elevators when they break down. [Source]

Elevator accidents are rare, causing 27 fatalities annually. The machines have multiple safety procedures in case of mechanical failure, and are inspected annually. However, older elevators are especially susceptible to mechanical failure, and there are no regulations requiring posting of emergency protocols when trapped in an elevator or between floors.

Our condolences to the family of Ms. Lujan.