Man crushed under hotel lift

2010-08-03 09:50

Johannesburg - A Vereeniging elevator technician died after a lift in a Sandton hotel crushed him - just days before he and his wife were to fly to Scotland for their daughter's wedding.

André Kleinhans, 54, who had been working with elevators for 28 years, died last Tuesday night when a private lift on the 23rd storey of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton, apparently fell down two storeys on top of him.

His daughter Mellissa, 24, and her fiancé, a man known only as Mike, postponed their wedding and arrived on Saturday in South Africa.

Two colleagues from Schindler Lifts only found Kleinhans' body the next day underneath the elevator. It apparently looked as though he was trying to stop the 800kg elevator.

According to Maryna Stoltz, Kleinhans' sister, the weight of the elevator had broken the ribs and ruptured the heart and lungs of her brother, "who had known everything about elevators".

Phone call not answered

It was not known how the accident had happened.

According to her, Kleinhans's wife, Eveline, 46, had become worried when she had called her husband from about 16:00 on Tuesday and he did not answer.
She and a brother, Norman, went to the hotel at about 19:00 to look for him.

The family went to the Sandton police station at about 23:00 to report him as missing.

Police spokesperson captain Kym Cloete said an inquest would be held. Neither Radisson Blu nor Schindler Lifts wanted to comment on Monday.