PICTURED: Mom-of-four, 39, who was crushed to death by illegally installed freight elevator while working at NYC grocery store
- Tragedy occurred at Food Emporium on 43rd St in Hell’s Kitchen on Tuesday afternoon
- Maria Sanchez, 39, was loading up a freight elevator in store’s cellar when it malfunctioned and lurched up toward first floor
- The elevator smacked her in the head, leaving her with severe injuries; co-workers discovered her after 4pm, and she was pronounced dead on the scene
- A Department of Buildings investigation has now uncovered that the freight elevator was illegally installed
- Sanchez was a mother-of-four who worked two jobs in order to provide for her family
The New York City supermarket employee who was crushed to death by a freight elevator has been identified as 39-year-old mother-of-four, Maria Sanchez.
Sanchez died Tuesday afternoon in the cellar of a Hell’s Kitchen Food Emporium on 43rd Street while loading the small dumbwaiter elevator with supplies.
The contraption – which was illegally installed – malfunctioned and lurched upwards, crushing Sanchez’s head. Co-workers discovered her body in the cellar shortly after 4pm.
Sanchez, who lived in The Bronx, emigrated from Mexico 15 years ago and had worked at the Food Emporum for five years. Her husband is also reportedly an employee at the franchise.
Sanchez’s children, who range in age from 21 to five, are ‘inconsolable’ over the tragedy.
On Wednesday, Sanchez’s eldest child paid tribute to her late mom, describing her as a selfless and hardworking woman who juggled two jobs in order to provide for her family.
‘She was working 48 hours per week. ‘She never put anybody before her kids. Whether she had to work seven days a week, she would do it,’ her daughter, Jeylin, 21 told The New York Daily News.
The New York City supermarket employee who was crushed to death by a freight elevator has been identified as 39-year-old mother-of-four, Maria Sanchez
Police are seen removing Sanchez’s body from the store on Tuesday evening
Medics rushed to the store, but Sanchez was pronounced dead at the scene
A Department of Buildings investigation uncovered that the elevator was illegally installed.
Jeylin says she is enraged by that fact.
‘As an immigrant, you come to this country to work to provide a better life for yourself — and for that place of work to take your life is unfair,’ she told the publication.
‘The work conditions for minorities are overlooked – and minorities were most of the workers [at the Food Emporium store]. Companies overlook us. They don’t care about the safety of their workers. You die, they replace you.’
The Buildings Department have shut down the elevator and have issued a violation to the owner of the building.
A policeman is seen standing outside the grocery store following the tragic accident
At the time of Sanchez’s death, the area was teeming with crowds trying to stock up on food ahead of an impending snow storm.
‘I came here, then saw the gurney roll into Food Emporium and my heart stopped,’ one local told The New York Post.
It is not the first time a supermarket employee has been killed by a malfunctioning elevator.
Earlier this year, a teenager was killed inside a Malaysian supermarket after his neck became stuck between the doors of a loading bay elevator.
Back in 2018, 62-year-old delivery man was crushed and killed by a makeshift hoist at a supermarket in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
There was a heavy police presence outside the store, located in Midtown Manhattan
The area was teeming with crowds trying to stock up on food ahead of an impending snow storm
The Department of Buildings opened an investigation into the tragic incident. Officials are seen making their way into the store Tuesday night
First responders rushed to the scene late afternoon, but Sanchez was pronounced dead at the scene