Hotel worker killed in elevator accident suffered serious head injuries

A 35-year-old man killed in an elevator accident at a downtown Toronto hotel suffered serious head injuries, according to Toronto police.

Production company filming TV show Private Eyes at hotel says victim is not a member of its cast or crew

Toronto police were called to One King West Hotel and Residence Wednesday morning, following the death of a worker involved in an elevator accident on Tuesday evening. (Trevor Dunn/CBC)

A 35-year-old man killed in an elevator accident at a downtown Toronto hotel suffered serious head injuries, according to Toronto police.

Hotel management for One King West Hotel and Residence, at Yonge and King Streets, provided no comment to CBC Toronto, but Ontario's Ministry of Labour confirmed the victim was an employee at the hotel.

Fujitec Canada Inc. would not confirm that it is the company that services the elevators at One King West, but when contacted by CBC Toronto, the vice president of finance and administration had a prepared statement.
One King West, the site of a fatal elevator accident involving a worker, is both a hotel and luxury condominium complex. (Trevor Dunn/CBC)

In the statement, Fujitec Canada Inc said it "has been informed of a fatal accident in Toronto. Fujitec Canada has no information on the circumstances of the accident. Therefore we cannot comment at this time."

Elevator company convicted of previous safety violations

In 2011, Fujitec was fined $500,000, the largest fine for a safety violation in the history of the Technical Standards and Safety Authority(TSSA), the provincial regulator responsible for enforcing elevator safety regulations.

That fine was in connection with an elevator accident that happened in 2006 at 522 University Ave. in Toronto. 

In that accident, the elevator dropped several stories and five passengers were injured.

A TSSA investigation found three safety infractions, including putting into service an "unsafe elevator" and failing to inspect or examine an elevator at regular intervals.

"The incident could have been entirely prevented and five passengers would not have had their lives upended had Fujitec followed the safety regulations and conducted proper elevator maintenance mandated in Ontario," said Roland Hadaller, the TSSA's director of elevating devices safety at the time. 

Co-workers used defibrillator on victim

Police, firefighters and paramedics were called to One King West just after 7 p.m. Tuesday.

According to Toronto Fire, the victim's co-workers used a defibrillator to try to revive him. Firefighters then performed CPR on the victim, who was found "on or about" one of the building's elevators, a Toronto Fire spokesperson said.

Paramedics declared the man dead at the scene.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour says it has assigned two investigators and an engineer to determine what caused the accident.

According to the ministry, no other accident reports at One King West Hotel and Residence have been filed in the past year.

According to the TSSA, the maximum allowable interval for maintenance of elevators is three months and the provincial regulator will do periodic inspections that range from six months to five years apart.

TV show filming at hotel at time of accident 

The television show Private Eyes, which stars Jason Priestley, was filming in the building at the time of the incident, according to a spokesperson from its production company. But the victim is not a member of its cast or crew.

"We are saddened by the incident that occurred at 1 King West yesterday evening," the production company said in a statement.

"We can confirm that no cast or crew member was physically injured, but as this is still under investigation we will not be commenting further at this time."