by Chris Echegaray, Telegram & Gazette Staff Worcester
Four police officers withstood an estimated 10- to 15-foot drop in an elevator at Police Headquarters as they reported for duty yesterday afternoon.
The four officers were taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center -- University Campus as a precaution, according to Deputy Chief Gary M. Gemme. They were treated and released, according to a nursing supervisor at the hospital.
Patrolmen Mark Tivnan, Douglas Farber and Thomas Bishop, and Sgt. Michael A. Cappabianca had entered the elevator in the lobby close to 3 p.m. when the elevator began to fall, Deputy Chief Gemme said.
Emergency brakes, he said, stopped the elevator from a free fall.
"It looks to me that the elevator fell a car's length," Deputy Chief Gemme said. "The officers were heading up when the door closed ... then the elevator dropped. We don't have the information on exactly how far it dropped."
Coincidentally, the elevators were undergoing their annual state inspection yesterday and an inspector and elevator contract service people were on hand when the accident occurred, Deputy Chief Gemme said.
He said that this is the first time any type of accident has occurred with the elevators. The elevators were closed for service and will be repaired today.
The elevators, as old as the building, which was built in 1978, will be replaced in October or November, Deputy Chief Gemme said.