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June 28, 2011

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Elevator engineer plummets to death

AN ENGINEER plunged to his death down a lift shaft yesterday morning, while preparing to repair an elevator in an office building in downtown Jing'an District, police said.

The accident happened about 7:30am in the 57-storey high-rise known as Exchange SOHO on Tongren Road, police said.

The man, surnamed Xu, was about to enter the elevator for maintenance work when he fell, witnesses said. Workers said he slipped down the shaft above the 20th floor.

A cleaner in the building described the engineer as "young, in his early 20s."

Emergency services arrived about 8am and removed Xu's body.

The elevator is one of three running between the 23rd and 37th floors of the building. These lifts were shut down following the accident.

The 217-meter building has 13 elevators.

The malfunction that led to the engineer being called is still being investigated.

Hundreds of white collar workers in the office block took cargo lifts during morning rush and lunch hours.

"I'll use the stairs from now on," an office worker, using the name "Mr_LuoLuo," half-joked in the mircroblog entry yesterday.

Other workers also expressed their concerns about elevator safety in the building, claiming yesterday's malfunction was "not an isolated case."

In 2001, in the same building, a lift dropped slightly as the door opened, injuring a 23-year-old woman inside.

The maintenance and repair company responsible for supervising the elevators was fired by the building's property management company.


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