SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – When an elevator stops working, it’s, at the very least, an inconvenience. But it’s a huge problem for people who essentially get trapped on upper floors.
Saab Court is one of many Springfield apartment buildings that have had problems keeping their elevators operational. Some Saab Court tenants have gotten stuck.
“I was in there for at least 10 minutes. I’m diabetic, I thought I was going to pass out. It was awful.”Adelaida Mercado, a Saab Court Tenant
“The darn elevator just quit on us, it took the fire department about an hour and a half to get us out of that thing,”George Cooley, a Saab Court tenant
The Springfield Housing Authority owns the Saab Court apartments. They’re in the process of repairing the “small elevator” at 18 Saab Court.
SHA Executive Director Denise Jordan told the 22News I-Team that, under state law, their maintenance team can’t legally fix elevators. Only certified elevator companies can do the work, and she said there aren’t any nearby.
“The closest service provider is an hour away in Vermont and that has been a challenge not just for the housing authority, but for a lot of properties throughout the region, specifically in western Mass. that has elevator issues.”SHA Executive Director Denise Jordan
The large elevator at 18 Saab Court still works, but its inspection sticker expired two months ago.
The state has 68 elevator inspectors that are responsible to inspect every elevator in Massachusetts each year. The inspector will post a certificate inside it to let you know that the elevator meets safety standards. But the state is having trouble getting all of the inspections done in time.
A new report showed that 4,500 elevators failed to comply with the state’s annual inspection requirement. The Massachusetts Office of Public Safety and Inspections told the 22News I-Team they’re “working diligently to ensure that business owners and members of the public have access to safe and reliable elevators.”
If a property owner fails to call the state to inspect an elevator with an expired certificate, they could be fined for every day their uninspected elevator is in operation.
The Office of Public Safety and Inspections urges you to contact them if you see an elevator with an expired certificate, regardless of the backlog.