A woman who was crushed to death in a freak lift accident accidentally hit the elevator’s “descend” button with the package she was holding.
Carrie O’Connor’s lifeless body was found inside the lift of an apartment building in Boston after it suddenly dropped and she became trapped between floors.
The 38-year-old Boston University lecturer had been dragging a seven-and-a-half foot tall box inside when the horror accident occurred on September 14.
A new report by the Massachusetts Office of Public Safety and Inspections has found the huge package hit a switch that sent the lift falling while the doors were still open.
Inspector Martin Guiod said the 60-year-old elevator — which is a “birdcage” style lift requiring the passenger to close the gate manually — didn’t malfunction.
Inspectors reviewed video from inside the building that showed Ms O’Connor trying to move the nearly 80lb package into the lift.
Once she was inside a maintenance worker in the basement pressed the call button.
Footage showed Ms O’Connor’s package then bumping the car gate switch, which wrongly indicated that the doors were closed, and the lift began to fall with the interior gate still open.
The woman dropped the box and it slipped off the switch, stopping the lift’s descent. But when she picked it up again the lift started falling once more.
She then disappeared from view on the footage, indicating “that she had fallen backwards into the hoistway between the 1st floor and basement floor,” the report said.
An autopsy showed that Ms O’Connor died of “traumatic asphyxiation.”
The lecturer had moved into the apartment building just weeks before.
One man who witnessed the tragedy was reportedly taken to hospital for trauma.
“He saw things that no one should ever see,” the source told The Sun.
Another resident told Boston 25 News that she “heard just an ungodly scream” before running into the corridor and finding a man “in distress screaming and hyperventilating and saying ‘she’s dead, she’s dead’.”
“It was horrifying. It wasn’t a cry. I can’t even describe what it was,” fellow tenant Leanne Scorzoni told WCVB Boston.
She described how another tenant saw Ms O’Connor just moments before the accident.
She continued: “He was helping her with a box into the building, and he was going up the stairs and he had told her, ‘Hey just be careful,’ because…you have to pull the door across and then step in and then press the button. However if you have something in there, it can trigger a sensor.
“He believes that whatever she was trying to get in there hit the sensor and then it started moving.”