Man Crushed By Montgomery Station Elevator

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BART officials are investigating how a male transient who was found dead in an elevator shaft Sunday night got into the space at San Francisco's Montgomery station, a BART spokeswoman said today.

A person was reported stuck in the elevator at 9:35 p.m., BART police said.

A man, who was riding the elevator from the San Francisco Municipal Railway level to the concourse level, heard a crunching sound and a man yelping before the elevator stopped.

Responding fire crews found a man in the shaft and pronounced him dead at the scene.

The San Francisco medical examiner's office has not released the man's name pending notification of family.

Some personal items were found on the top of the elevator car, including bedding, BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said.

The elevator that goes from the BART platform, through Muni and up to the concourse level near the Sansome and Sutter streets exit was boarded up today.

Trost said the elevator will be back in service by March 20 -- if not sooner. State inspectors have already inspected the elevator with other inspections in the works.

Investigations into the fatal accident are also under way, she said.

"We are obviously trying to connect the dots on how the person got up there," Trost said.

She said there are only two ways to enter the elevator space: a ventilation shaft or an emergency hatch on the top of the car.

BART officials have confirmed that the ventilation shaft entry was secure, she said, and to get through the emergency hatch in the car someone would need a boost.

Trost said officials are looking at surveillance footage to figure out how the man got into the shaft space.

She said BART officials have never seen someone go into the elevator shaft at any station.

Until the elevator reopens, Trost said passengers who need elevator service should use nearby downtown BART stations.


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