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Graphic details emerge in deadly elevator accident in Long Beach

December 9, 2011 |  6:40 am

Photo: Scene of elevator death at Cal State Long Beach. Credit: KTLA-TV

It took more than an hour to free a woman after a 2,000-pound elevator dropped onto her at Cal State Long Beach on Wednesday, authorities said. She died at the scene.

The victim, Annette Lujan, 48, of Huntington Beach, was a nine-year employee of the university’s grants and contracts office, officials said.

Lujan was riding the elevator in the Cal State Long Beach Foundation building when it apparently got stuck between the second and third floor.

Lujan climbed out of the elevator, but the car started moving again, Capt. Rich Brandt of the Long Beach Fire Department told the Daily 49er student newspaper.

The car dropped onto her, crushing her. Brandt said the car weighed 2,000 pounds and that it took more than an hour to lift the elevator off her.

University police and the Long Beach Fire Department were called to the scene after someone reported that Lujan was trapped.

The cause of the elevator malfunction is under investigation.

A spokeswoman for the California Department of Industrial Relations told the Long Beach Press-Telegram that the elevator had been inspected in April and received a clean bill of health. The state is now investigating the death. Officials said the incident underscores the dangers of people trying to climb out of elevators when they break down.


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Photo: Scene of elevator death at Cal State Long Beach. Credit: KTLA-TV