An elevator accident in Long Beach, California on Wednesday, at the campus of California State University at Long Beach, resulted in the death of an employee of the school. Annette Lujan, a Huntington Beach resident, who worked for the university, died after being crushed by the malfunctioning elevator.
The elevator accident occurred after the elevator first became stuck in between the second and third floors. After an unrevealed period of time, Ms. Lujan apparently climbed out of the elevator. However, after she climbed out, the elevator began to move again and the 2,000 pound elevator car crushed her to death.
The cause of this elevator accident is still being investigated. It has been reported that the elevator was last inspected in April, 2011, and no problems were reported at that time. The Los Angeles Times also reports that officials have said that this accident shows the danger of trying to escape an elevator after it stops and becomes stuck.
Many people have fears that an elevator may break down while they are in it, and this causes anxiety in many people who ride elevators, particularly when they are crowded with people, it is a small elevator or it is in an older building.
Here, investigators will first have to determine what caused the elevator malfunction and then what caused the elevator to start up again. For legal liability reasons, it will be important to determine how long the elevator was stuck before Ms. Lujan attempted to exit the elevator. If it was a short time, the reasonable thing to do might have been to stay in the elevator. However, if it was a longer period of time, and Ms. Lujan was not contacted regarding help, Ms. Lujan might have started to feel claustrophobic and it might have been necessary for her to try to exit the elevator on her own.