Tragedy Strikes Financial District Again

Elevator Panel

Tragedy struck Canada's financial district Wednesday, after 8 people (7 from law firm McCarthy Tetrault and a messenger who was meant to be passing through) were caught in a lift in the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower in downtown Toronto.

The lift is said to have stopped mid-floor between levels 43 and 44, and led to the death of 43-year-old Andrew Hill, an Otis Elevators employee who fell while trying to get the lift working again. Mr Hill is married, and is reportedly a father of 5 young children. His wife is said to have discovered what had happened when watching television.

The 8 individuals trapped in the elevator were finally freed unhurt (although a little shaken and sweaty) after five-an-a-half hours.

This is the second tragedy to befall the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower in recent years. In 1993, Garry Hoy, a 38-year-old lawyer with law firm Holden Day Wilson, decided to repeat his favourite party trick in front of a group of summer interns. Hoy was demonstrating that the glass windows in the Tower were unbreakable, and proceeded to rush headlong into a glass panel. The glass held firm, but a window frame is said to have given way, and the lawyer, who expected to bounce off the glass to safety, fell 24 floors to his death.

In March 2003, Polish-born Katarzyna Woja, a £100,000-a-year ($147,000) analyst and portfolio manager who worked at Invesco, went to the Broadgate Health Club in London (then owned by Holmes Place Health Clubs) during her lunch hour for her usual workout. The last of seven people to get out out the lift, the doors closed and are said to have trapped her. The lift is then said to have dropped, dragging her into the lift shaft. Suffering what have been described as 'horrific' injuries, Ms Woja sadly died at the scene.

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