'Of the 20 to 30 elevator-related deaths each year, most of them are maintenance-related — for example, technicians leaning too far into the shaft or getting caught between moving parts, and most of the rest are attributed to other kinds of accidents, such as people stepping blindly through doors that open into empty shafts or being strangled by scarves caught in the doors.' (Wikipedia)

However The Nation (Thailand) made the following claim:

A woman succumbed to severe injuries on Sunday night, in the first legally recognised death caused by a falling lift. The accident happened on Saturday at a furniture showroom in Nakhon Ratchasima.

So, according to 'The Nation', there is only one known death caused by a falling elevator.

Since it seems strange to me, I wonder whether that claim is true.

  • 7
    Because of the odd qualifier "legally recognised", I am assuming they are referring to some aspect of Thai law, rather than a universal statement about elevators.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 6:31

1 Answer 1


Here are at least 7 other fatalities due to elevator falls.

The LA Times reports:

[A] 48-year-old elevator maintenance worker who died when an unfinished elevator suddenly dropped about 10 feet [...] [B]ecause the elevator car was much heavier than the man, it reached the bottom first and transferred kinetic energy to the man when he hit the floor – catapulting him about 20 feet back into the air. His fall from that height crushed his skull and caused his brain to hemorrhage[.]

4 killed on May 22, 1903, the Donnelly Building Elevator Accident:

Just as the elevator reached that floor there was a crash and it fell to the bottom. Not one of the seventeen occupants escaped injury. The two heavy weights, each weighing a ton, fell on the victims after the elevator had reached the bottom. The dead were terribly crushed, and it was some time before they were identified. The accident is attributed to the overloaded elevator and a new elevator man who did not understand his business.

2 died on Dec 12, 1946, in Dover-Foxcroft, ME, from an elevator fall the previous day:

Two of 12 women employes[sic] injured yesterday when an elevator dropped 35 feet in the American Woolen Company's Brown mill died today in a hospital.


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