Who failed? City investigates elevator shaft fall that injured 9-year-old girl

The fall happened Friday afternoon.

Posted: Feb. 19, 2019 12:36 PM
Updated: Feb. 19, 2019 9:35 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- There are new details released after a 9-year-old girl fell 30 feet down an elevator shaft at the Michael Walsh apartments in Utica.

Apartment management has issued a statement, saying they pray for the girl's recovery, and that her family has engaged a personal injury law firm, which prohibits them from making further comment. The statement says they await the completion of an investigation by the Utica Fire Department. 

The fall happened Friday afternoon.

The girl's mother says her daughter suffered a broken pelvis, and badly broken leg.

She also said she had called management 20 minutes before the accident happened to tell them the elevator wasn't working.

Members of the Utica Fire Department were at Michael Walsh Apartments Tuesday afternoon. Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri, in an emailed statement, said that the apartment building passed inspection in July of 2014.  The city's fire marshal says those high-rise, multiple-occupancy buildings must be inspected every 36 months. Utica's Provisional Fire Chief, Scott Ingersoll, says the department's back log for the 1203 inspections, as they're called, is large. Ingersoll says the department must inspect 1500 units, in addition to doing mandatory training throughout the year, and responding to 14,000 calls. 

Mayor Palmieri says the city will release more information when their investigation is complete. 

Police are looking into who is responsible, and whether or not criminal charges could be filed.

Anyone who lives in the building is asked now to call 211 if they have issues with the elevator.

A phone call to apartment management Tuesday was not returned. 

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