NYC
01/18/2012 10:42 am ET

Suzanne Hart's Tragic Elevator Death Launches Criminal Investigation

A criminal investigation looking into December's fatal elevator accident has been launched by the Manhattan District Attorney.

The probe seeks to identify the cause behind the accident that killed Suzanne Hart, a 41-year old advertising executive who had worked at Y&R located in the 285 Madison Avenue building.

Initially, buildings departments spokesman Tony Sclafani said that the elevator had been inspected back in June, with no safety issues arising from the inspection. An inspection following the accident, however, revealed 11 violations against the 13 elevators servicing the tower.

Soon after, sources say the company Transel Elevator Inc., failed to report that repairmen had actually completed additional work on the elevator just hours before the accident. The mandatory communication would have prompted one last independent inspection -- suggesting that if repairmen had followed the necessary steps, the accident could have been avoided.

Sclafani said, "Workers from Transel were performing electrical maintenance work on the elevator involved in the accident hours before it malfunctioned. This work has now become the focus of our investigation."

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