OKC School Officials Investigate Elevator Accident


Wednesday, November 16th 2011, 7:47 pm
By: News 9


Oklahoma City Public School officials are still investigating how three students became trapped under an elevator at Classen School of Advanced Studies Tuesday.

One of the girls is still in the hospital.

Two calls were made to 911 from the school, one from the school's financial secretary and one from one of the girls trapped under the elevator.

Major Steve Peters of the Oklahoma City Fire Department said this was the first time he can recall that people have been stuck under an elevator.

He said firefighters called in the elevator operator tom make sure the proper bypass switches were thrown so that the elevator could go in only one direction—up.

"It was one of those situations... you needed someone who knew what they were doing there. I mean, we have all the tools and we can block that elevator where it's not going anywhere, but we wanted to make sure we did it right," Peters said.

With the students safely out of the way, school officials tried working the elevator to see if they could discover how the girls became trapped.

"We had a hard time defeating the safety issues features of the elevator, but when it comes to children, kids can cause, do unexpected things," said Karl Springer, the Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent.

He said they will keep working until this situation is impossible to repeat.

"The thing is, this community has been given a great gift--a gift of a second chance in this particular situation. And what could have been an absolute tragedy, wasn't," Springer said.

Officials still haven't said how the girls got into the elevator shaft, only that students and staff are being interviewed to determine what happened.

It has been determined that an independent inspection of the elevator did take place in October 26th, finding now safety violations. The district, however, has not scheduled an annual inspection required by the city since 20090

We still haven't been told how the girls got into that elevator shaft... only that students and staff are being interviewed to determine what happened. It has been determined that... while an independent inspection of the elevator took place on October 26th of this year with no safety violations found... the district has NOT scheduled an annual inspection required by the city... since 2009.