At least 9 killed in Brazilian elevator accident


SALVADOR, BRAZIL (BNO NEWS) — At least nine people died after an elevator fell at a construction site in eastern Brazil, officials said Tuesday.

The incident occurred at around 7:30 a.m. at a construction site where some 400 employees work on Antonio Carlos Magalhaes Avenue in the region of Iguatemi, located in Salvador, Bahia, a spokesman for the Fire Department told O Globo.

The elevator dropped from a height of around 80 meters (262.4 feet), as workers were going up to the 20th floor of the 32-story building that has been under construction for a year. Firefighters said either mechanical failure or excess weight could have been the main cause of the accident.

According to Jose Felix de Oliveira, 55, an employee at the construction site, the workers were heading toward the roof to set up some pillars, but the elevator was unable to stop due to an electrical fault and hit the tower. At the moment of the impact, the clip that holds the equipment broke and caused the fall. Oliveira said he was waiting for the elevator for the next trip.

However, Segura Construction Company said the elevator was in perfect working condition. The company also said it was closely monitoring the investigation into the incident.

Control and Land Use Planning superintendent Claudio Silva, meanwhile, said the work site would be suspended indefinitely, noting that the construction site is licensed and adequately regulated with permits.

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