Elevator in Sansom Place 'operated as designed'
Overcapacity triggered security feature designed to stop elevator from an uncontrolled fall
September 9, 2013, 8:07 pm · Updated September 9, 2013, 8:57 pm·
The elevator which fell in Sansom Place West Saturday night had “operated as designed,” according to Facilities and Real Estate Services’ executive director of Operations and Management Ken Ogawa.
“An overloaded condition triggered the elevator’s secondary system which is designed to stop the elevator from going into an uncontrolled fall,” said Ogawa in an email.
The elevator, which was carrying 14 students who were members of the Penn Sirens vocal ensemble, fell at 10:25 p.m. from the lobby to the subbasement. The Incident Report Log at the building gave the cause of the fall as “Overcapacity.”
However, the elevator’s posted weight limit is given as 2,500 lbs. Engineering senior and Penn Sirens president Catharine Haak, who was on the elevator when it fell, pointed out that in other college houses, such as King’s Court English College House, all 18 students in Penn Sirens had fit onto the elevator without a problem.
The elevator’s service was restored an hour after the fall.
The first responders arrived at the scene within half an hour and rescued the trapped girls “without a problem,” according to Nursing sophomore and Penn Sirens member Nora Lueth.