FDNY Deputy Chief Anthony Arpaia told reporters that the victim was exiting the elevator - occupied by seven people - at the lobby-level when the auto suddenly dropped toward the basement, causing him to become stuck between the elevator vehicle and the shaft wall on the first floor.
The man, identified as Samuel Charles Waisbren, was a resident of the building at 344 Third Avenue in the Kips Bay neighborhood of New York City, police said.
"They had to work a long time, pretty hard to get the elevator vehicle moved and distract the patient", FDNY Deputy Chief Anthony Arpaia said. Police say it appears 30-year-old Samuel Charles Waisbren was trying to get out of the elevator when it continued downward and trapped him.
The accident happened on Thursday morning just before 8.30am as Mr Waisbren and a group of other residents were taking the elevator to the ground floor. A message has been left for the company that owns the building.
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Worryingly, it has emerged that the Manhattan Promenade, the upmarket building where the incident happened in Gramercy, was fined almost $1,300 in May after inspectors found that a "safety feature on one of the elevators was either tampered with or disabled".
Her husband, Peter Sargen, said that within the past few days he was riding one of the elevators and felt it "wobbling" so much that he reported it to the building's staff.
"We saw the warning signs", Alex said. "I've been stuck inside the elevator before", the woman said.
Waisbren was killed as the top of the elevator crashed down onto him, effectively crushing him between the wall of the shaft and the lift. "It's super scary, they always jump between floors".
Samuel Waisbren was crushed to death by a malfunctioning elevator in NY.
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It was not clear though if the victim was riding on the flawed elevator.
There are more than 70,000 elevators in New York City, but deadly accidents are rare.
Officers from the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) attended the scene and rescued five surviving people from inside the metal cage. "As a result, people who use them are at risk".
Other residents in the building have spoken about the elevators since Waisbren's death, too.
However, the lift kept going down and he attempted to rush through the door before he was caught.
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