A new sport!

The local Elevator Inspector stopped by my jobsite the other day. He was there to check out a cab that the customer was trying to build himself, and I wanted his opinion as he'll be the guy to give it a pass/fail at the end of the job. He was supposed to show up on Tuesday, and he commented as such to me, my reply was "It's not like you've had anything else going on."

After he had taken a look at the cab, and declared that "It won't work. I need to see a UL Fire Rating" we got to kibbitzing about the accident. It would seem that the "Pinnacle Apartments" might be slightly misnamed, as the building has been reclaimed at some point and turned into a housing project. The elevators were an older design, and did not have a lot of the redundancies and safety features that are included on newer devices, and this is common in a lot of projects. Since a lot of these hoistway doors have a locking mechanism that can be openned with a simple screwdriver, a new sport has been devised by the young people who use them called "Elevator Surfing".

These young folks get on top of the cab and ride around. They'll party up there, get a snootful, and then dare each other to jump from one cartop to another...While both elevators are running at full speed! (I see a potential Darwin Award for one of these "Athletes".) The Inspector let me know that they had found evidence of such activity on those elevators. Beers cans, and gang "tags" painted all throughout the shaft were mentioned specifically. Due to this (albeit circumstantial) evidence, we're leaning towards vandalism of the door as the cause of the accident. (Mainly due to the fact that we find it hard to believe that anyone at Schindler would have left a door gibb off... under any circumstances.)

If you ever get the desire to elevator surf... Get a job with an elevator company. You'll learn how to do it correctly, safely, and no three-year-olds will die from it.