NOLITA, Manhattan — A service elevator in a Lafayette Street building plunged to the ground Wednesday morning, injuring the repairman below.
Major Elevator Corporation employee Jose Paulino, 28, was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition.
Paulino and Larry, his partner, were repairing the elevator that moves cargo from street level to the basement when the incident happened.
"I was up here running the elevator. He was under it trying to release the safety mechanism, Larry said. "Once he got it free, the chain snapped and unfortunately it fell straight down on him."
Witness Pope Hubert said he heard the loud crash and then screams. "He was just saying, 'Can you pull it up? It's on my arm! My arm is crushing! I can't breathe!'"
Larry said, "I am praying for him. I wish i could have gotten him out sooner. It took the fire department to get him out."
The FDNY said it arrived within three minutes of a 9-1-1 call and immediately worked to pull the elevator off Paulino.
FDNY Chief Martin Lindquist said firefighters used a tower ladder and a grip hoist to lift the elevator.
"The rescue medics got access to him. They were able to get him some drugs and had him out in about 10 minutes," Lindquist said.
According to the New York City Department of Buildings, there have been no recent problems with the elevator.
PIX11 reached out to Major Elevator Corporation multiple times. They had no comment.