It seems we don’t need the evil ways of man to kill someone via elevator shaft. The elevators might just do it all by themselves. Weird. Con Ed’s latest venture into modernizing electric service in thousands of Manhattan buildings is now under investigation by state utility regulators thanks to charges that the equipment used in the upgrades is unsafe. Predictions include plummeting elevators as well as failing water pumps and alarm systems.
State Department of Public Service investigators were brought in when a Trenton-based company, Kinetics Industries Inc., charged that Con Ed had falsified the specifications for one device used in the upgrades known as rectifiers in order to favor a Brooklyn-based competitor. Con Ed and the Brooklyn rectifier maker, Empire Electric, vehemently deny that the devices are defective. But according to a test done by Underwriters Laboratories, a nonprofit consumer organization, it’s rather easy for people to be electrocuted by reaching inside the cabinets of Empire rectifiers. Woops. But come, Con Ed has been good to this city. Who you gonna believe?