An Elevator Incident Near Houston

So I’m reading up on my elevator/escalator news yesterday at The Elevator Post and come across a headline that makes my heart skip a couple beats. I don’t even read the entire story. Instinctively, I log into our online elevator inspection database. The site is down for maintenance. Frustrated, I go to the website of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. At the Elevator Equipment Search page, I type in “La Quinta Inn, Katy, TX” and hit enter. The resulting inspection reports pop up and I click to view the 2010 report. Usually this takes a couple seconds to load, but today it takes 30 minutes… or that’s what it feels like. Finally the document appears. I scan through the pdf until… relief. We did not inspect this elevator.

The headline: Man falls down Katy hotel elevator shaft. (click here to read full article)

Litigation is a familiar word in this industry. Any elevator incident (as we like to call them – not an accident, that’s negative. An incident) is bad news financially for all parties involved – building owner, building manager, elevator manufacturer, elevator installer, elevator maintenance company, and last but not least, elevator inspector. The big guys usually just settle. Trip on a mis-leveled car? You get an island. Foot caught in the door? Here’s a plane. A man somehow falls down the shaft and lands ON TOP of an elevator cab at a La Quinta Inn in Katy. This means that, barring any door-unlocking mischievousness on the man’s part, the door gibs (devices on the bottom of the door that keep it in the track), the hoistway door interlock (locks the hoistway doors mechanically and electrically), and/or the door closer (closes the hoistway door if the car moves away from the landing) failed. The inspector was one of our competitors. This inspector had inspected the Schindler unit since it’s installation in 2007. I review the past inspection reports. Not one violation has ever been written up on the elevator.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of the investigation. I know my friend LT, Chief Inspector and High Elevator Czar of The Sovereign State of Texas is already on his way to Katy to get down to the bottom of this. Go get’em LT.


  1. Tom says:

    Has LT, inspected the last accident yet?


    That State of Texas is soooo big!

  2. Post: August 10th, 2011: ERS-2011-08-10 #264 Show Notes | Elevator Radio Show Podcast says:

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