Woman crushed to death in 'faulty' lift

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The Independent Online

The daughter of a woman who died after becoming trapped in a lift shaft in a block of flats had complained to the council that the lift was faulty, it was revealed today.

The 50-year-old woman, charity worker Christine Allen, was trapped between a lift car and the outer door at the flats in Navestock Crescent, Woodford Green, east London, just after midnight yesterday.

Firefighters tried to free her but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her daughter, Laura Dawkins, 26, watched in horror as her mother, who had been visiting her grandchildren, became trapped.

She told the Evening Standard: "I told the council many times that the lift was broken. It just kept breaking down and sometimes one door would open but another would close. Sometimes it was higher (in the shaft) than it should be.

"It's been out of order for about four months and all I got from the council is that they haven't got the funding.

"My mum was a lovely, bubbly person, always thinking of others before herself. I would do anything for my mum - she was my soulmate and I want justice."

Mrs Allen's husband, Leslie, who met her when they worked for the charity Animal Help said he was still in shock.

Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are investigating but the death is not being treated as suspicious.

A Redbridge Council spokesman said: "Like the residents of Lambourne Court, we were shocked by this tragic death. Our sympathy is with the family.

"Redbridge Council and Redbridge Homes will be working closely with the Health and Safety Executive to find out exactly how this happened."

He said he was aware of what Mrs Allen's daughter had said but added: "We can't comment further during the investigation."