A 45-year-old Tampa Bay area man working on an elevator shaft was crushed to death Wednesday morning at the TradeWinds Island Resorts.
The man was vacuuming water from the bottom of the elevator shaft at the Jacaranda Beach Villas, condominiums on the grounds of the resort with another worker when the elevator fell from the second floor and killed him. The accident occurred around 10:30 a.m. The other man was working outside the shaft and was not injured.
At this time, no one is entirely sure what caused the elevator to fall. According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, hotel maintenance locked the elevator in place with a key, and the power was supposed to have been cut.
Hotel officials could not explain the tragedy.
Sadly, this man is not the first to have been killed in an elevator-related accident this year. Last month, a man was found inside an elevator shaft at Tampa International Airport after he apparently fell to his death. This particular accident remains under investigation.
State law does require elevators to be inspected annually. In Florida, inspections are conducted by private companies certified by the state.
The TradeWinds Islands Resorts’ elevators were inspected Monday, and all of them passed. No reports of any violations were found on the elevator that killed the worker.
The inspector’s report did note water at the bottom of the elevator shaft. Officials claim that this can happen naturally as the ground water table rises.
TradeWinds hired an environmental cleanup company to remove the water. The deceased and another worker from the company came Wednesday. The men had filled two barrels with water from the elevator before 10:30 a.m. when the elevator fell.
St. Pete Beach firefighters were called to the scene at 10:37 a.m. Not long after, the St. Petersburg Technical Rescue Team recovered the man’s body.
Elevators are used every day as a means for transportation of people as well as goods. Elevators are found everywhere, from shopping malls and restaurants to hotels, hospitals and apartment complexes. Sadly, due to the negligence of building and property owners, many employees, contractors and passengers are injured or killed every year in elevator accidents.
Elevator accidents are usually caused by unsafe conditions on the part of a negligent property owner. Business and property owners are required to uphold the safety of all employees and visitors on their property. They are legally obligated to repair and maintain the premises and make sure that all hazards and safety risks are addressed and fixed in a timely fashion.
When something goes wrong with an elevator, the results can be catastrophic. Elevator accidents often arise from the following:
• Door Entrapment
• Car Entrapment
• Sudden Acceleration or Deceleration
• Improper Maintenance of Cables
• Communication Failure
• Safety Device Failure
• Defective Governors
If you have lost a loved one due to a defective, unsafe or uninspected elevator, the Tampa Bay Wrongful Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can investigate your case right away and aggressively pursue compensation for your loss. Call our office today at 813-221-3200 or fill out our online form for a free consultation of your case.