Sabhan, Kuwait – Elevator mechanic killed, another injured; crushed by falling car

According to the Kuwait Times, an elevator accident left one elevator mechanic dead and another seriously injured in the Sabhan neighborhood of Kuwait. Although details of the circumstances are scant, it appears that both mechanics were working in the hoistway pit of an interior ministry building at the time the accident occurred. The elevator unexpectedly descended, crushing the two men, killing one instantly. Read the full story by the Kuwait Times, published December 27, 2012.

In the United States, elevators have long been required to have stop switches in the pit to prevent unexpected movement of the car when working in the pit. It is standard procedure to ensure that the elevator is under control before entering the pit or accessing the car top. Crushing accidents involving the pit often involve improperly trained personnel accessing the pit, for example to retrieve dropped keys. However it is critical that only properly trained elevator personnel enter the pit, to prevent this type of incident. It is not clear whether or not the elevator in this incident was equipped with a stop switch in the pit, or whether the mechanics had followed procedures to gain control of the elevator before entering the pit. We will update this story if more details emerge.

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