Woman's Leg 'Mangled' As She's Caught in Elevator Shaft, Dragged up Eight Floors in Holiday Horror

NY Daily News - December 26, 2010

by Joe Kemp

A woman got caught in a Brooklyn hospital elevator Saturday and was dragged up eight floors with her leg sticking out of the door - a terrifying ordeal that took nearly an hour before firefighters could rescue her, sources said.

The woman, identified only as in her 30s, got her leg snagged in the closing door of the elevator on the first floor of Downstate Medical Center in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens shortly before 5p.m., the sources said.

"Her leg was wedged between the elevator car and the shaft," a source said.

After the agonizing trip to the eighth floor, the car was stopped and someone called 911.

Firefighters from Ladder 113 and Engine 249 arrived first at the scene, and were quickly joined by smoke-eaters from Ladder 174, Engine 310, Rescue 2 and Squad Co. 1.

Power in the shaft was cut, and the firefighters used clamps to secure the elevator before anyone could enter the car, sources said.

Once inside, a team of Bravest tied a tourniquet around the woman's severely bleeding leg and started cutting out a section of the floor to remove her, sources said.

Some firefighters were surprised her leg had even stayed attached during the brutal ordeal.

"There was a lot of blood," said one source.

"A big chunk of her leg was missing," another source said. "It looked like someone ripped it open with a knife."

After the 55-minute rescue, hospital staff transported the woman next-door to Kings County Hospital, where she was undergoing surgery last night.

Sources said the woman was expected to survive the horrific injuries.

But it was not immediately clear if her leg could be saved.

"It may have to be amputated," the source said, adding that doctors would have to make the final call.

He said the woman's foot appeared to be partially severed.

"Her leg was mangled from about midthigh to her foot," the source said.

Family declined to speak to a reporter at the hospital last night.

With Shane Dixon Kavanaugh