MARTA: Hardware caused Kensington elevator door to malfunction
Key pieces of hardware were not working properly at a rail station where a child fell 12 to 15 feet down an elevator shaft last month, MARTA announced today.
The 5-year-old was leaning against the elevator at the Kensington MARTA station Jan. 18 when the door opened and he fell through and onto the top of the elevator car.
An investigation found the door was not adjusted properly and some of the hardware used to keep it in its track was missing, bent or not secured, MARTA said today.
The transit agency recently fired its elevator contractor after finding that one of its mechanics, in an unrelated incident, had disabled safety equipment on an escalator at another station. Officials said they could find no record that the mechanic had worked on the Kensington elevator.
Here is the complete text of MARTA’s news release:
MARTA Releases Results of Probe into Kensington Elevator Mishap
An independent investigation into the January 18th incident involving an elevator at MARTA’s Kensington rail station revealed several problems with critical pieces of hardware necessary for the doors to function properly.
An examination of the Kensington elevator by Vertical Transportation Excellence (VTX) found a door that was not adjusted to its proper height. There were also problems with the door’s “gibs” which keep an elevator door aligned in its track as it opens and closes, similar to the sliding doors commonly found in private residences.
The VTX probe cited several gibs on the Kensington elevator that were missing, bent or not adequately secured. VTX was hired by MARTA following the January 18th incident in which a five-year-old boy sustained minor injuries. The findings of the VTX inquiry are consistent with a report just released by the Georgia Department of Labor, which has oversight authority for elevator safety statewide.
MARTA has since terminated its contract with Elevator Specialists Inc. (ESI) after an unrelated incident in which a technician for the company intentionally disabled safety circuits on an escalator at the Dunwoody rail station. ESI had been responsible for inspecting the 112 elevators and 149 escalators operating at MARTA facilities. There is no record that the ESI mechanic in question worked on any MARTA elevators.
In the wake of the Dunwoody incident, MARTA retained the services of escalator/elevator industry expert VTX to conduct the review of all its escalators to determine if other violations may have occurred. A system-wide inspection of MARTA escalators prompted by the discovery of problems with the Dunwoody escalator is ongoing.
In addition, MARTA has signed a temporary contract with Schindler Elevator Corporation to take control of its escalator and elevator maintenance program.
Immediately following the Kensington incident, the elevator was immediately removed from service to ensure customer safety and is still unavailable. Prior to that, MARTA had already taken a series of precautionary steps to improve elevator safety, including measures that were subsequently recommended by VTX in their report. Those steps include:
- Performing visual inspections of all elevator hoistway doors at every MARTA station. Any door panels or gib assemblies found to be deficient have been replaced. To date, MARTA has found 11 elevator doors throughout the MARTA system which were out of adjustment
- Installing metal “Z-brackets” on elevators. In addition to replacing gibs, these brackets will help keep elevator doors in their correct position
- Replacing any damaged, elevator door panels with corrosion-resistant ones that are recommended by the American Public Transportation Association’s elevator design guidelines
In recent years, MARTA has significantly expanded its programs to ensure the proper functioning of its escalators and elevators including hiring a full-time manager responsible for “vertical equipment,” adding two inspectors and requiring those employees to receive ongoing training and certification.