A 6-week-old baby died after falling down an elevator shaft in Brooklyn, New York. Areej Ali was still in her stroller when she plunged eight stories down on Oct. 13.
The girl’s mother, Aberaqed Al-Rabah, 21, was waiting for the elevator when she accidentally pushed the stroller into the open elevator shaft on the 23rd floor.
Although the child only fell a few feet and landed on top of the elevator car, her mother fell in after her and landed on top of the stroller.
The mother’s weight caused the elevator to drop to the 17th floor.
Emergency responders were traumatized when they arrived at the location. “It’s not something I’m going to forget,” said a disturbed firefighter who helped pull the baby and mother out.
The baby was pronounced dead at a local hospital, reports the New York Post.
Areej’s grandfather, Salah Ali, 70, says the baby’s mother is in “bad shape.”
“She’s in the hospital. She’s injured,” Ali said. “She breaks my heart. That was my grandchild.”
Jeff Delacruz, who lives in the same building complex, says his aunt works at the hospital and spoke to the baby's mother.
“She keeps saying, 'everything is OK. It's OK. God only gave me my baby for one month,'” Delacruz said.
Britesha Walker, who lives in the building, told the Daily Mail she had reported problems with the elevator two weeks ago.
Walker says the superintendent of the building did not get the elevator fixed, despite complaints.
Harold Noel, 37, lives on the same floor as the mother and child.
“They’re real good people ... My wife called me said the neighbor fell down the elevator,” Noel said.
“I took the elevator about 8 this morning and it was shaking a bit but we thought it was just the construction ... they never work. Everybody is scared of taking the elevators.”
Since January 2015, there have been 20 complaints about the building’s elevators.
The complex has more than 50 open building code violations, including four elevator-related ones.
The elevators had reportedly not been inspected since August.