Boston University lecturer, 38, 'was crushed to death by elevator when she overloaded it with a package

mibro

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^^^^I love movie scenes like that, when a lead character suddenly gets taken out.

Deep Blue Sea, No Country For Old Men and that Boston cop/villain movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, off the top of my head. The Departed, that's it.
 
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AHM

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I’ve dealt with MA elevator inspectors before. Your average illegal immigrant landscaper probably has more brains than the one I’ve dealt with on multiple occasions.
Inspectors?
Try engineers:
One of my post-college housemates had an intern summer job at
some NNJ big-name company working on their first microprocessor-controlled
elevator project. The prototype's micro was on top of the cab.

It was sensor interrupt driven with no redundant electrical limit switches.
If the system crashed while moving,
you had to reboot it and type in the command to stop.

His boss wanted him to debug the embedded system
by riding on top of the cab with a terminal attached.

My housemate said, "How about no? No works for me".

Later that summer the system crashed while headed upwards.
Whanged into the girders at the top of the shaft and crushed everything...

No word on whether the boss was pointy-haired,
but the odds seem good.

Photo of an elevator in current use in Boston. Would you trust this?
I'm totally sure they've worked out the bugs in the computerized kind by now.

Once in college I heard "help, let me out" come from the elevator
in the 7 story Physics/EE building. I didn't have to be anywhere urgently,
so I thought, "this is gonna be good" and waited in the lobby. Sure enough,
the head of Buildings & Grounds arrived. The upperclassman who inspired
me to go to that college had a work-study job helping the manager, so
I knew he was approchable. Told him where the car was stopped,
and asked if I could tag along. "Sure".

The manager talked to the guy (some grad student), then we climbed the first stairs
to the elevator penthouse. Looked a bit like that photo.

The manager poked around in a couple of switchboxes, then manually turned a
small motorized screw shaft with a traveling cam that tripped microswitches,
until the switch for the next floor was engaged.
A tiny bit like a linear washing machine timer.



Then he points to a drum brake bolted to the floor of the penthouse
with lengths of cable going through ports in the floor.


He says, "grab that brake shoe, and when I say, 'pull',
pull back on it until I say 'stop'", and then grabs the other shoe.

"Pull!" <swish swishswishswishSWISH> "Stop!" <swishswish swish>
Looks at a marker on something or other...
"Pull!" <swish swishswishswishSWISH> "Stop!" <swishswish swish>
Looks again.
"Pull!" <swish swish> "Stop!" <swish>
"OK, that should do it".

Tag it out, lock the penthouse,
walk back down to the floor above where it stopped.
Because the counterweights are heavier than a lightly loaded cab,
and it would rise when the brake was released.

Unlocks the door, lets the guy step out (it was within a few inches of the floor),
re-latches the door, and it's Miller Time.


He commented that most of the elevators on campus were cable-type,
but hydraulic elevators could service up to 9-stories (triple-nested hydraulic
pistons, with up to 3-story deep cylinder pits), so we did have two of them.

Getting crushed in an elevator is on a par with getting rebar through the eye on my personal scale of horrific ways to go.
You probably don't want to take up black powder.
 

xjma99

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They are State Employees....😂😂😂
It’s unfortunate but true.

one year, elevator inspector makes us make the elevator shaft fan run when the fire alarm goes into alarm, and on backup power. You sure?? Won’t pass it unless you do! OK. Next year, that fan can’t run when it goes into alarm....OK buddy?? Following year, you get it. I’m an electrician, not an elevator or fire alarm engineer, I just make it do what you want. Luckily I made it real easyfor myself to change.

Also, I guess even as a licensed electrician I’m not supposed to be in the elevator control panel?? Luckily they use non-union elevator company, they unlock it for us and roll their eyes as they know the state employee well.
 

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I’ve dealt with MA elevator inspectors before. Your average illegal immigrant landscaper probably has more brains than the one I’ve dealt with on multiple occasions.
The last inspection I was part of, the inspector jabbered on about how cops in the 60s(70s?) dealt with "hippies living in tents on the Boston Common. They drove up in trucks carrying police K9s and released them into tent city. An hour of that and the garbage/tents were loaded into trash trucks and it was over." Funny but he never looked at the elevator. I also never asked anyone if this story held an ounce of truth
 

xjma99

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The last inspection I was part of, the inspector jabbered on about how cops in the 60s(70s?) dealt with "hippies living in tents on the Boston Common. They drove up in trucks carrying police K9s and released them into tent city. An hour of that and the garbage/tents were loaded into trash trucks and it was over." Funny but he never looked at the elevator. I also never asked anyone if this story held an ounce of truth
It would be a lot cooler if it did!!
 

Rob Boudrie

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I've been in plenty of sketchy elevators in MA. Cannot comment on the quality of inspections, but certainly the frequency leaves much to be desired (elevators 2 years past due for inspection were common due to some sort of shortage).
This will be like the RMV ignoring out of state license revocations and suspensions. Expect the inspection rate to pick up.
 

Rob Boudrie

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The right angle bend where the cable goes into the spool is the only thing that concerns me, though that is an interesting shortcut where a tech lost one of the screws holding a relay cover on.

The elevators have emergency brakes (I think some guy named Otis invented them) but I'd wonder if several stories worth of steel cable falling onto the car roof would crash through and into the occupants.
View attachment 390401
Photo of an elevator in current use in Boston. Would you trust this?
Want to weird people out? Get into an elevator and ride up with your back facing the door.
 

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The right angle bend where the cable goes into the spool is the only thing that concerns me, though that is an interesting shortcut where a tech lost one of the screws holding a relay cover on.

The elevators have emergency brakes (I think some guy named Otis invented them) but I'd wonder if several stories worth of steel cable falling onto the car roof would crash through and into the occupants.


Want to weird people out? Get into an elevator and ride up with your back facing the door.
6 stories of fun. Panning right...
24632.jpeg
 

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Not sure. I've never been in a control room, but I imagine it gets pretty grimy. Is there anything of particular concern here?
Technology observed or lack there of. However I did find a water main-operated elevator on comm Ave. Fortunately it was jammed in the wall between floors. Still attached to the water main though!
 
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It’s unfortunate but true.

one year, elevator inspector makes us make the elevator shaft fan run when the fire alarm goes into alarm, and on backup power. You sure?? Won’t pass it unless you do! OK. Next year, that fan can’t run when it goes into alarm....OK buddy?? Following year, you get it. I’m an electrician, not an elevator or fire alarm engineer, I just make it do what you want. Luckily I made it real easyfor myself to change.

Also, I guess even as a licensed electrician I’m not supposed to be in the elevator control panel?? Luckily they use non-union elevator company, they unlock it for us and roll their eyes as they know the state employee well.
Complete sham that we can’t even have access to an elevator machine room. We should own line and load side of the disconnect!!! They get the car, that’s it! God I wish I wasn’t a neck down anybody can do my job electrician!😂😂
 

AHM

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Lol. I'm teaching about that at school tomorrow. But remember, he lived. So...
First learned about it from Ripley's Believe It or Not.
What Ripley didn't tell us was that the guy's personality changed -
that he got mean.

The right angle bend where the cable goes into the spool is the only thing that concerns me, ...
I believe you. I got a "used once - never dropped" Maasdam 1-ton come-along
for like $5 at a yard sale a few years ago,
because I always thought they looked like fun.
(Guy said he used it to put up the fence in his front yard,
and now he's done with it).

After I read up on their care and feeding,
I bought two tow straps stronger than the come-along itself from Harbor-Fraught.
So that I am never ever tempted to wrap the come-along's cable around
a fallen tree or something, and clip the hook on the standing part of the cable.

6 stories of fun. Panning right...
Kewl! Drum brake and the threaded cam switcher thingy.
(I didn't recognize the latter in the first photo).
 

Picton

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First learned about it from Ripley's Believe It or Not.
What Ripley didn't tell us was that the guy's personality changed -
that he got mean.
He did. He lost his inhibitions. But he probably recovered a lot of it later.
 
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headednorth

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Anyone in commercial construction knows how serious the elevator mechanics are about safe operation of the car and control of the elevator shaft at all times. There are many fail safe’s in modern elevators. I’m curious to know what really caused this. The elevator industry in Massachusetts is the extremely tight knit also so the details will probably never get out.
Sometimes shit just happens. Years ago I got a call from a property we managed. Elevator door open on 6th floor, no car. Went over, confirmed, called service and got a call back from the tech. Explained to him again and he said "Thats impossible". I said "Dude Im standing here on the 6th floor lobby looking straight down the shaft as we speak." He showed up and said "Well Ill be damned..."
 
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How does one scream while being asphyxiated??? Something does not add up here...
Right.... If she died of "traumatic asphyxiation" she wasn't screaming... You need to move air across your vocal cords to scream.... "Traumatic asphyxiation" is a polite way of saying something very heavy (like an elevator) crushed the victim's chest or neck. Maybe she let out one scream as the thing moved. After that... Nope. Or if she was screaming for a little bit, mechanism was not "traumatic asphyxiation."
 

Picton

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He dun gots blown up near Okemo in VT his skull and the tamping rod(kinda doubt it is the original) are on display at Harvard medical school.
Nope. They're absolutely the real deal. He died in San Francisco and was buried with the tamping iron. Dr Harlow went out there, dug him up, decapitated him, and brung the pieces back east after making a death mask.

At the time, interest in the Gage case was yuuuge.
 

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