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'Ruled out nothing': Agency probing grisly death of Kips Bay man crushed by a defective elevator

2019-08-23

The city Department of Investigation is probing the grisly death of Sam Waisbren a Manhattan man who was crushed by a defective elevator in his Kips Bay apartment building. (Courtesy Dr. Charles Waisbren/Handout)

The city Department of Investigation is probing the grisly death of a Manhattan man who was crushed by a defective elevator in his Kips Bay apartment building.

DOI spokeswoman Diane Struzzi confirmed the investigation Friday.

Samuel Waisbren, 30, was taking the elevator down to the lobby with six other residents Thursday morning when the routine ride turned into a horrible tragedy.

When it stopped in the lobby, he began walking out of the lift behind a neighbor. It suddenly lurched downward, crushing him in the elevator shaft.

Waisbren, a Midwesterner, moved to the city six years ago and worked as a salesman at the software company CB Insights.

He died at the scene, according to authorities.

The Department of Investigation probe is the second official inquiry into the tragic accident at the 23-story Manhattan Promenade apartment building.

City Buildings Department inspectors are also looking into the matter and focusing their probe on what violations and lapses may have led to the tragedy. The DOI investigation is focused on any potential criminal aspects that may have contributed to Waisbren’s death.

The Buildings Department last inspected the elevator itself in March. An elevator maintenance company inspected it in August, a city official noted.

Buildings Department spokesman Andrew Rudansky declined to comment on the specifics of the agency’s probe.

“There’s nothing that we’ve ruled out,” he said.

An adjacent elevator at the 344 Third Ave. address failed a May 2019 inspection that found that a mechanism that prevents it from opening between floors was defective. The building’s management fixed the problem later that month, but still has not paid a $1,280 fine associated with it.