Man dies in elevator shaft at SF BART station


BART riders reacted with surprise and curiosity to the news.

"It's just awful and very sad," said BART rider Tanya Swearington.

"We were wondering why someone would want to go into an elevator shaft in the first place," said BART rider Ted Hilliard.

Around 9:30 last night a man riding in the elevator reported hearing a crunch, a yelp and then the elevator stopped. Investigators found a man's body in the elevator shaft along with bedding. It took several hours to remove the man's body and he had no identification.

BART police checked the ventilation shafts and determined they are secure. Police said you would have to be an elevator expert to pry the door open while the elevator was on another floor. ABC7 News noticed while looking at another BART elevator that if you can get inside, there is a ladder in the shaft that you can use to get onto the elevator. The only other point of entry that officials could think of is the elevator hatch door; even that would require someone giving him a boost or climbing up on the railings. By all accounts it seems to be a very uncommon place to seek shelter.

Officials have closed the internal elevator at the station, but the elevator to the street level is still open. BART officials think the elevator will be closed until March 20. State inspectors will come out to examine the elevator before it is reopened.

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