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Boy Crushed to Death by Elevator

August 24, 2001

BETHEL, Maine (AP) _ An 8-year-old boy was crushed to death by a 1920s-vintage hotel elevator Thursday, police said.

Joseph Smith of Bel Air, Md., was wedged between the elevator doors and a folding metal gate when the car began rising after someone on the floor above pushed a button to call it, Public Safety Department spokesman Stephen McCausland said.

Smith was staying at the Bethel Inn with his parents, Jeffrey and Mary Smith, and his twin sister in this western Maine resort town.

An inspection of the elevator in June found 10 violations, but they don’t appear to have been related to the accident, said Kristine Ossenfort, spokeswoman for the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, which oversees the licensing agency.

``None of the violations affected passengers, and we felt nothing warranted the elevator be taken out of operation,″ Ossenfort told the Lewiston Sun Journal. The hotel was given several months to correct them.

McCausland said police were not considering any charges.

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