Just days after federal regulators demanded a recall in a lawsuit against a German elevator company, another child died in a horrific elevator accident while on vacation with his family.
The 7-year-old boy from Canton, Ohio, died on the first day of a family vacation in Corolla, at a beach rental in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
The boy’s neck was crushed after he got stuck between the elevator’s inner accordion door and an outer door, which trapped him between the bottom of the elevator car and the top of the door frame, according to fire chief Rich Shortway. “It’s just such a terrible tragedy,” he said.
An estimated 100,000 to 200,000 home elevators may have a dangerously wide gap between the doors, posing a serious risk to children. The gap was allowed by industry codes until 2017.
A few days before the boy’s death, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted in favor of filing a lawsuit against the German elevator company ThyssenKrupp.
The CPSC said it wants ThyssenKrupp to issue a recall, inspect and fix all of its home elevators by installing safety devices, such as a space guard, to prevent any more children from being seriously injured or killed.
Thyssenkrupp home elevators have been linked to several serious injuries and deaths, including a 2-year-old child who died in 2017, a 3-year-old child who was left permanently disabled in 2010, and a a 4-year-old boy who was hospitalized after a crush injury in 2019.
“These injuries and deaths are ghastly,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “The gaps in residential elevators are truly a hidden hazard for homeowners, and for anyone who is visiting or renting a home with an elevator.”