Today’s news:

Boy dies after falling down LeFrak elevator shaft

Patrick Fanor, 15, was playing with neighbors on the 10th floor of the Shalimar building at 98-23 Horace Harding...

By Jennifer Warren

A 15-year-old boy fell seven floors down an elevator shaft to his death at 8:30 p.m. June 6 at LeFrak City in Corona, police said.

Patrick Fanor, 15, was playing with neighbors on the 10th floor of the Shalimar building at 98-23 Horace Harding Expressway when he fell down the shaft onto the roof of the elevator stationed on the third floor, said Carmen Melendez, a police spokesman.

The day following Patrick’s death, family members gathered at his parents’ home in the large complex of buildings. A male relative holding two youngsters in hand walked solemnly into the building.

“He was my cousin, but I don’t want to talk about it,” he said before entering the high-security housing.

The 10th floor elevator door was closed when the children were near it, but the force of Fanor’s body was enough to swing it off its tracks, allowing the teen to fall into the empty shaft, said Malikah Shabazz, director at large for the LeFrak Tenants Association.

“The elevator door didn’t slide open. It was off the track,” said Shabazz, who inspected the elevator door shortly after the accident. The bottom of the door pivoted like a swing into the empty shaft, she said, suggesting that it was a matter of loose screws rather than an electrical malfunction.

“One of the elevator inspectors, they kicked the door in from the bottom and the door just went in,” she said.

Paul Wean, a spokesman for the city Department of Buildings, said after the accident the elevator was taken out of service. “Basically, the elevator is shut down. It’s under investigation,” he said.

The Buildings Department last inspected the Shalimar building’s elevators in April, Wean said.

“We found no violations at the time and there’s no record of any hazardous condition on the elevator in the past,” Wean said.

Residents of the complex, however, including Shabazz, who has lived in the building for 23 years, said elevator problems were common.

They have included an outdated motherboard that controls the movement of the cab and sensors on the doors to detect whether passengers are safely inside the car, said Shabbaz.

“Management is aware of all the different problems. Once a month in our sensitivity meetings the elevators come up,” she said.

Reach reporter Jennifer Warren by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 155.

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