Western Brooklyn

NYCHA Elevator Mechanic Dies Immediately After Agency Announces Elevator Safety Reforms

The Coney Island Houses on West 25th Street. (Source: Google Maps)
The Coney Island Houses on West 25th Street. (Source: Google Maps)

Barely an hour after NYCHA announced reforms to improve elevator safety at its properties, a worker was killed doing elevator repair at a public housing complex in Coney Island.

Sources told ABC 7 the mechanic died Friday morning after being electrocuted while working on an elevator at a NYCHA property located at 2926 West 25th Street. The agency identified the man as 54-year-old Igor Begun.

The NYPD and NYCHA are reportedly investigating the death.

The incident, which reportedly happened at 11:20am. occurred almost an hour after NYCHA sent out a press release announcing reforms to their elevator policies and procedures in response to two horrifying elevator accidents at NYCHA properties last year.

According to the Daily News, the incidents occurred in December at properties located in the Bronx:

Tenant Olegario Pabon died after he got caught on Christmas Eve in a lurching lift at the Boston Road Houses, while tenant Jamal Brown broke his leg Dec. 2 when elevator doors closed on him in the Morris Houses.

The accidents, as well as a slew of other mishaps involving NYCHA elevators, prompted an investigation by the city. NYCHA announced in its press release that disciplinary charges had been filed against five employees in connection with the Boston Road Plaza accident. The head of the agency’s elevator Division has been relieved of his responsibilities and replaced by an interim Acting Director of Elevators.

NYCHA also said they have implemented new policies, related to training, communication, and reporting repairs, meant to improve elevator safety.

A NYCHA’s CEO and Chair Shola Olatoye told ABC 7 the agency is awaiting results from the Medical Examiner about what caused the death of the mechanic in Coney Island.

“Our hearts go out to the family of Igor Begun, a 54-year-old NYCHA employee,” Olatoye said reportedly said in a statement. “As we await the Medical Examiner’s findings on the cause of this tragedy, we offer our condolences on behalf of the NYCHA community.”

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