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Inspector: Boy Shouldn’t Have Accessed Elevator Switch

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The office of the Fire Marshall tapes up the elevator at the Plaza Hotel in Joliet; on Sunday a 2-year-old boy fell down the elevator shaft. (Credit: Michael R. Schmidt~Sun-Times Media)

The office of the Fire Marshall tapes up the elevator at the Plaza Hotel in Joliet; on Sunday a 2-year-old boy fell down the elevator shaft. (Credit: Michael R. Schmidt~Sun-Times Media)

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JOLIET, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) – New information is out about a recent incident in which a 2-year-old boy fell down an elevator shaft in a Joliet hotel, resulting in serious injuries.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Conway, reports, Joliet chief building inspector David Mackley says the boy should not have been able to access the switch he apparently flipped to open the elevator door between floors.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Conway reports

Mackley told the Joliet City Council the switch had been installed in recent years so the doors could be kept open while repairs were done and the fact the switch was exposed violates state codes.

Mackley says the state has ordered elevator doors in violation to be retrofitted, but building owners have until 2015 to do that.

On Jan. 23 at the Plaza Hotel, at 26 W. Clinton St. in Joliet, the boy, a sibling and their mother were in a room when the 2-year-old slipped away unnoticed, went to an elevator and began playing with the buttons.

Police say the elevator began to move and the toddler pushed the “stop” button, but when he did, there was about a 16-inch space between the elevator and the wall.

The child fell about 30 feet. He was initially taken to Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet, and was later reported in critical condition at Children’s Memorial Hospital.

Police say the investigation of the incident has been completed, and there will be no criminal charges. The matter has been referred to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

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