A mother in New York City is reeling in grief after a freak accident took the life of her six-week-old baby. Yesterday at about 10:30 a.m. at a housing complex in Brooklyn, the mother was waiting with the baby in a stroller at an elevator on the 23rd floor of the apartment building. When she pushed the baby stroller into what she thought was the elevator, there was no elevator there, according to authorities. The baby fell eight stories and came to rest on the top of the elevator, which was stopped on the 15th floor of the building, according to police.
A mechanic heard the grief-stricken mother -- 21-year-old Haifa Ali -- screaming, according to police, and was able to pull her to safety. She was hospitalized, but the baby was declared dead at Coney Island Hospital. The baby’s name was Areej Ali. It is unclear whether any criminal charges are being pursued.
City records show that there have been 20 complaints about the Bay Park II housing complex elevators since January 2015. The New York Times said that the building currently has approximately 50 building code violations. Inspectors with the Department of Buildings are investigating. New York’s Department of Buildings declared that the elevator in question had passed an inspection that is performed every five years.
One resident said that the building has had continuous problems with its elevators, according to the Washington Post. The New York Times reported that in 1991, a man named Chandler Johnson fell 15 floors down an elevator shaft in a building in the same complex after he leaned on the elevator doors. Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene. NYT reported that current residents complain of the frequent malfunctions of the elevators.
Grenadier Realy Corp., which is the building's management company, posted a letter to its residents on the elevator doors:
"To all Residents,
"As many of you know, a tragic incident occurred at 3415 Neptune Avenue earlier today. Our hearts go out to the family and anyone affected by this tragic event. We are all devastated by this tragedy.
"In the meantime, we are working diligently with all appropriate authorities and agencies to better understand the circumstances of this tragic incident. In addition, elevators in all buildings are currently undergoing inspection. Your safety and well-being are our number one priority.
"A full accounting of the incident is under investigation. We will update you as we learn more.
"Further, we are making grief counseling available to anyone who requests it, and will continue to support everyone in their time of need to the best of our abilities.
"If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact building management at 718-946-6070, and we will respond as quickly as possible.
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