Archive for Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dormitory elevators shut after fatal accident

October 25, 2006

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— Six dormitory elevators failed safety tests conducted by Ohio State University after a freshman was pinned and killed by an elevator in his residence hall, university officials said Tuesday in Columbus. The six elevators, among 29 given a standard brake test, will be shut down until they are repaired and recertified.

Twenty-four people had crowded into the elevator on which Andrew Polakowski, 18, of Erie, Pa., was killed Friday night. The 2,500-pound weight capacity of the elevator was exceeded by as much as 1,100 pounds, said Doug Smith, a battalion chief for the Columbus Division of Fire.

Polakowski was the last person in a group of students to enter the elevator on the dormitory's third floor when it began to descend with the doors open, campus police said.

Polakowski tried to get back onto the third floor, but the elevator wedged him against the floor of the third-floor lobby. Polakowski had chest and abdominal injuries and died of mechanical asphyxia.

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