12-year-old boy injured in elevator fall

December 10, 2012 2:32:10 PM PST
A 12-year-old boy is in critical condition after a near-deadly fall down an elevator shaft.

The dramatic rescue of the boy was caught on camera in Mount Vernon.

With the elevator's alarm bell blaring away, police rushed to rescue the 12-year-old boy stuck on top.

"All we could do was assure him and say 'Don't worry, police officers are coming to help you they're going to save your life," City Councilwoman Deborah Reynolds said.

That was as onlookers like Mount Vernon City Councilwoman Deborah Reynolds and her husband watched, recording the scene with their cell phone.

Rescuers delicately pulled 12-year-old Chaz Gant by the legs through the elevator's ceiling door and placed him on a backboard for the ride to the hospital.

Police say Gant had tumbled through broken elevator doors on the third floor of this apartment building and landed on the roof of the elevator, two stories down.

"We have to make sure this never happens again, our residents' safety is number one in the City of Mount Vernon," Reynolds said.

"I think it's scary. It's really scary and it's sad. I think it's lucky that he didn't get hurt worse than he did, but it's still unfortunate that he got hurt," said Ashley Cox, a resident.

Residents say they've long had problems with the elevators in this building, part of the Westchester Plaza Apartment Complex in downtown Mount Vernon.

Monday, the elevator in question was out of service and building management said it was still waiting for answers about what had gone wrong.

"At this time I can't tell you any more than you probably already know yourself, we are waiting for all the reports and investigations to be concluded," said Doryne Isley, building representative.

The building later blamed Chaz and his buddies for rough housing in the hallway. They say Chaz fell against the elevator door with enough force to knock it off its tracks and he then fell into the abyss below. City inspectors still have to confirm that and until they do the elevator will stay off limits. Chaz is expected to survive.

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