"We were able to free him, but his head and neck were crushed by the elevator," said an official from the rescue team.
What was supposed to be a fun family vacation turned into a tragedy for a family from Canton, Ohio. The family had traveled to North Carolina’s Outer Banks for the weekend and were staying at a beach rental home located on Franklyn Street in the Corolla Light neighborhood. Sadly, on the very first day of their vacation, the family had to call 911 to rescue a 7-year-old boy who got caught between two doors of a home elevator.
Once first responders arrived at the scene, they found the boy trapped between the elevator car and the elevator shaft. However, by the time the rescue crew got the boy out, it was too late to save him. He was pronounced dead at the scene on Sunday evening, July 11. The concerned elevator at the beach rental home was designed in such a way that it was two doors, separated only by a few inches. Before the elevator moves, both the doors will close and get locked, but only one door will move while the other remains on the floor landing.
The boy was found trapped between the elevator car and the elevator shaft inside the home. https://t.co/XEJnKqUMdv— CBS 4 News (@cbs4rgv) July 14, 2021
During the accident, the 7-year-old boy reportedly got trapped between the inner and outer doors, and his neck was crushed in the terrible incident, according to The Washington Post. "We are not sure exactly how it happened," said Currituck County Fire-EMS Chief Ralph Melton, as quoted by The Coastland Times. "The child was entrapped in the doors. We were able to free him, but his head and neck were crushed by the elevator and he died as a result of traumatic injuries sustained in the elevator mishap Sunday night."
Rich Shortway, the fire chief in Corolla, N.C., said about the boy's death, "It’s just such a terrible tragedy," according to The Washington Post.
Seven-year-old boy is crushed to death by elevator on first day of family vacation https://t.co/ZDWVEdN4WE— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) July 15, 2021
The incident was deemed as an accident but is certainly not the first of its kind. The 7-year-old boy's death is an addition to several incidents where children have been crushed by residential elevators after getting stuck in the space between the two elevator doors. Because there is a gap of only a few inches, a child getting trapped there can be fatal or can suffer life-changing injuries.
Between the years 1981 to 2019, CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) records show that at least eight children were killed while another two were injured after being trapped in elevators. The CPSC had also issued a safety alert about "a deadly gap between doors of home elevators" in 2019.
Emergency workers on the North Carolina Outer Banks say a boy from Ohio died after he became trapped between and elevator car and the elevator shaft inside a vacation rental home. https://t.co/uWE8ZsarvR— CBS 17 (@WNCN) July 14, 2021
"CPSC is aware of several tragic incidents in which children became entrapped between the doors leading to death, serious fractures, traumatic asphyxia, and lifelong injuries," they said at the time, as quoted by WAVY.com. An Atlanta attorney named Dave Krugler, who has represented families in such cases, said that this problem will continue unless it is immediately addressed, according to The Washington Post.
"I really do think this is going to keep happening unless something is done," said Krugler. "It’s an industry-wide problem."
Cover image: Representational (Source: Getty Images | Photo by SbytovaMN)