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NYC-Two Men Almost Drown in Elevator


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8/26/2011
Gerry Oginski
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Last week's heavy rains almost took the lives of two construction workers, who were stranded in a flooded elevator for an hour in Staten Island.

Around 9am on Sunday, August 14, Ed Tyler, 26, and Wendell Amaker, 48, had begun their workday at the old Staten Island Hotel in Graniteville. They were participating in renovating the hotel into an assisted-living facility. No one else was in the hotel at the time, and only a security guard manned the exterior.

The elevator door malfunctioned immediately, so the two workers decided to press all buttons in the hope that the door would open on one of them. Unfortunately, the basement was experiencing flooding at the time and when the elevator hit the bottom floor, it began to sink. Without anyone else in the building, no one could hear the two men's screams. They reached the fire department and could only recall the intersection of the building. Just as the phone call ended, their phone died.

The fire department finally came around almost an hour after the emergency began. The security guard reported that nothing was wrong, but they decided to try the back of the building anyway. When the two men were found, they were standing atop plastic transport carts, with water up to their necks, three feet from the ceiling. The firefighters then sent a ladder down and rescued the soaked men.

If you would like more information about how negligence and accident cases work in the state of New York, I encourage you to explore my educational website. If you have legal questions,  I urge you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at [email protected] to answer your questions. That's what I do every day. I welcome your call.


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