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12-year-old girl survives 35ft fall down New York lift shaft

The unnamed girl was taken to hospital with serious injuries

A 12-year-old girl suffered serious injuries when she fell 35ft down a lift shaft in a New York apartment building.

The New York Fire Department said the child fell from the first floor lobby to the elevator pit in the sub-basement of the five-story building in SoHo.

The accident happened just before 3pm on Friday and led to a recuse operation incorporating 20 emergency workers, authorities said.

Khalid Baylor, a Fire Department spokesman, told the New York Times that the unnamed girl was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center in a serious condition.

He said it was unclear whether she lived in the building on Crosby Street.

Baylor said the tight conditions mean that workers had to conduct a “confined-space operation”. They forced open the elevator doors at the sub-basement level and then rolled the girl onto a backboard. She was then put in a basket and transported back to the first floor.

Ahmed Aly, 33, a security manager at a nearby Topshop, told the New York Times that he was on his lunch break on Friday when he saw a woman near the building’s entrance, who said that that a girl had fallen into the elevator shaft.

He used the light on his phone to illuminate the shaft and saw the girl lying motionless on her back. “I thought she was dead,” he said.

But when she started to stir and cry out, he used the building’s intercom to warn residents not to use the elevator, fearing it would crush the trapped child.

Emergency workers arrived within minutes, followed by the girl’s mother.

Investigations into the incident are ongoing, amid reports that the lift had been out of service at the time of the incident.