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Schindler elevators being inspected after a fatality

Date Posted: 2006-06-16

A teenage boy was crushed to death over the weekend at a Tokyo condominium as he exited an elevator.

The elevator was manufactured by the Swiss firm Schindler Elevator. Officials say the elevator began moving upward, despite its doors being open, trapping the 16-year-old between the elevator and the structure. The Transport Ministry has ordered an immediate inspection of all 7,000 Schindler-manufactured elevators across Japan. Okinawa has such elevators at some monorail stations and government offices. All were ordered shut until inspections are complete.

Police, meanwhile, have swept through the Japan offices of the world’s second largest elevator company, looking for maintenance records. They also raided the condo’s maintenance company. The technical failure in the elevator was not the first in the building, according to police. Investigators say there have been nearly two dozen incidents of elevator troubles at the 23-story condo over the past several years.

Schindler, a part of a holding company in Switzerland, expressed its condolences for the teen’s death, but issued a statement denying any wrongdoing in the accident. It said neither the design or installation of the elevator had anything to do with the Saturday accident.

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