A 6-week-old girl died after falling down an elevator shaft in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, on Thursday morning, police said.
Areej Ali's 21-year-old mother was waiting for the elevator on the building's 23rd floor around 10:30 a.m., police said. When the elevator doors opened, she pushed the stroller forward; she didn't realize the elevator car wasn't there, according to KTLA sister station WPIX.
The stroller, with the baby girl still inside, fell to the building's 17th floor, police said. She was rushed to Coney Island Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Multiple complaints against the building where the Thursday's incident occurred had been filed with the Buildings Department, according to records obtained with by WPIX. Elevators in the building were not working twice last month.
Elevator repair people are not currently required to have any sort of licensing in New York, the station reported. A bill to require licensing of people involved in elevator construction and maintenance is in discussion in the New York State Senate.
"This horrible and unfortunate death of an innocent child is yet another example of the need for greater accountability throughout New York's elevator industry," said Mike Halpin, an organizer for the International Union of Elevator Construction Local 1. "Today's tragedy should serve as a wake-up call for Albany to finally act and bring increased safety to the millions of New Yorkers who ride elevators each and every day."
Inspectors from the Buildings Department remained at the scene to conduct a full investigation, a department spokesman told WPIX. They'll be testing all of the elevators.