7-Year-Old Boy Crushed to Death in Elevator Shaft at North Carolina Beach Rental House During Family Vacation

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The horrific tragedy happened on Sunday around 7 p.m., just hours after the family arrived to the quaint seaside town. Officials said the boy could not be resuscitated and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 7-year-old Ohio boy was killed in a freak elevator accident at a beach rental home his family was staying in on North Carolina’s Outer Banks

The little boy was found trapped between the elevator car and the elevator shaft inside the home located on Franklyn Street in Currituck County on Sunday around 7 p.m., according to emergency personnel, WAVY reported.

Officials said the boy could not be resuscitated and was sadly pronounced dead at the scene, a report said.

The family had arrived just hours earlier to the popular resort area from Canton, Ohio to start their summer holiday.

Fire Chief Rich Shortway with the Corolla, North Carolina fire department told The Washington Post that the boy was trapped between the bottom of the elevator car and the home’s upper door frame. According to Shortway, the young boy’s neck was crushed after he appeared to have gotten caught between the moving elevator’s inner accordion door and an outer door, the news outlet reported. 

“It’s just a terrible tragedy,” Shortway said.

The sheriff’s office confirmed the death of the young boy was accidental, according to WKBN.

Officials in North Carolina said they have had close calls in the past with elevator injuries at homes, however, the 7-year-old is the first fatality in the Outer Banks town, according to People.

According to The Washington Post, Sunday's tragedy is similar to a pattern that involves children getting crushed by residential elevators after they get trapped in the space between the two elevator doors. When the elevator moves, both doors close and lock as one door moves with the elevator and the other sides on the floor landing.

The North Carolina Department of Labor conducts inspections on elevators, but inspections are only completed on new installations or when there are changes made to existing equipment.

At least eight children have been killed and two others seriously injured in elevator entrapments, between 1981 and 2019, according to Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) data and news reports, The Washington Post reported. 

However, industry experts "say the actual number to be significantly higher," according to the newspaper.

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