An elderly man in China plunged 8 metres to his death mere seconds after his son-in-law opened an elevator shaft to investigate why the lift appeared to be malfunctioning. The incident, that occurred around 1pm on Sept 24, was captured on surveillance cameras in the lift lobby.
In the 42-second CCTV footage that is going viral online, the elderly man and his son-in-law can be seen waiting at the lift landing for an elevator. The son-in-law, who has since been identified as Zhou, then somehow whips out a key and proceeds to open one of the elevator doors.
It is clear that there is no elevator compartment waiting on the other side of the doors. As Zhou holds the door open, his father-in-law moves from behind him towards the door.
The elderly man does not seem to realise that the elevator has yet to arrive and takes a fatal step forward, falling into the empty elevator shaft despite Zhou’s attempts to catch him:
Responding to widespread backlash criticising him for “impatiently” opening the lift shaft door, Zhou revealed to reporters that he is an electrician and that he was motivated to investigate the malfunctioning lift after noticing the lift lights acting up.
Explaining that he was taking his father-in-law to visit his relatives on that fateful day, Zhou revealed, “Coincidentally, the relative’s residence also happens to be my workplace.”
While waiting for the elevator, Zhou noticed that the arrows signalling where the lift was were flickering. Zhou chose to investigate but forgot that his father-in-law was behind him: “After opening the doors I was looking in and I forgot about dad, I didn’t realise he was behind me.”
Zhou added that he tried to hold on to his father-in-law but failed.
According to the publication that Zhou spoke to, his family is currently in talks with the property management office of the building where the tragic mishap occurred.