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Untrained hands behind fatal elevator crash

Investigation blames it on flawed use of the lift’s release lever

Published: 07th December 2012 08:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th December 2012 08:19 AM   |  A+A-

The flawed use of a release lever led to the free fall of the elevator from the second floor to the ground floor at a marriage hall in north Chennai that left a man dead last Sunday,  preliminary findings revealed.

According to sources, employees of Sri Annai Mahal on TH Road in Old Washermanpet had fully released the brake or release lever in the elevator control room instead of freeing it in a staggered manner.

“This led to the lift freely falling to the ground floor. In the impact, a part of the lift’s roof fell on the occupants and the holding rope got detached,” a source privy to the ongoing probe into the mishap told Express.  

When the lift got stuck on  the second floor following a power cut, the occupants shouted for help and employees rushed to the control room.

“In their anxiety to quickly bring the occupants of the lift out, men who were not properly trained or authorised to handle the system released the lever without realising that it could lead to a free fall,” the probe source added.

Had they released the lever in a phased manner, it would have not been a problem, sources added.

It has also been found that the elevator was erected without obtaining a valid permit (form B),  and it was operated without a licence (forms C, D, E and F) under the Tamil Nadu Lifts Act, 1997, which were in gross violations of the law.

The mishap that occurred on December 2 killed Prasad, a bank employee of Andhra Pradesh. Two other occupants of the ill-fated elevator — Sunita sustained injuries to her neck and Srinivasalu suffered a fractured leg. A probe into the mishap by the State Electrical Inspectorate and the police is still on.

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