The police said Lakshmi, daughter of the apartment block’s security guard, was playfully taking the elevator up and down when suddenly the doors shut on her, jamming her head between them. She began screaming as the doors compressed her head.
By the time she was rushed to nearby Rajashekhar Nursing Home, Lakshmi was declared dead, leaving her parents, who live in a small house in the basement of the same apartment block, shattered.
Lakshmi’s accidental death involving the elevator cast a pall of gloom on the residents of Sai Ram Soudha on Monday. Lakshmi’s relatives were initially reluctant to speak to Deccan Herald, but her uncle, preferring anonymity, did not want to apportion any blame on the owner of the building or the condition of the lift.
A local resident said Lakshmi’s father, Deependra, would end up losing his job if he were to complain. Sai Ram Soudha residents said for the past few years the elevator was not functioning properly. “The lift broke down several times over the past one year. The building owner would call over mechanics to repair it, only for it to fail again,” a resident said. Another resident complained that two days before the tragic incident, there was some trouble with the elevator’s door.
The operations of the elevator have been temporarily suspended after Lakshmi’s death. Residents said that no official visited the apartment block to inspect the lift after the accident. According to the Karnataka Lifts Act, 1974, it is the building owner’s duty to inform the Karnataka State Electrical Inspectorate in the event of an accident involving elevators.
The rules are clear that once an accident occurs, the lift must be shut down and not interfered with until an inspection is completed.
The building owner, Ramesh, who lives in the same apartment block, was not available for comment.