Annette Lujan: Woman Dies in CSU Long Beach Elevator Accident [UPDATED]
The victim has been identified as 48-year-old Annette Lujan, a resident of Huntington Beach. She had worked at CSULB's grants and contracts office for nine years. More details at the bottom.
Originally posted at 10:40 a.m.
A woman was killed this morning in an elevator accident at the CSU Long Beach campus. "I can confirm that there was a death, and it was an accident," an officer at the campus police department tells the Weekly.
The CSULB media-relations office says it can't confirm anything yet.
"Authorities responded to the campus at 9:10 a.m," ABC7 reports. "The woman was declared dead at the scene." Here's the floor plan for the Foundation Building, which is filled mostly with administrative offices.
Update, 10:45 a.m.: The following email alert was reportedly sent out by CSULB officials just moments ago.
"There has been a fatality on the CSU Long Beach campus today as the result of an accident. The matter is currently under investigation. The name of the deceased is not being released at this time pending notification of the next of kin."
One student named Wyatt Tweets that the victim was "apparently a teacher," but no official confirmation there.
Update, 11 a.m.: University spokeswoman Toni Beron says that "this morning at 9 a.m., we received a call to university dispatch that a woman was trapped in an elevator." She says police immediately arrived on scene -- along with the Fire Department -- and began "administering first aid."
What, exactly, was wrong with the elevator? Beron says that's currently "under investigation." The Long Beach Press-Telegram has more details:
A female employee of California State University Long Beach was found dead this morning at about 9 a.m. inside an elevator shaft at the campus foundation office, authorities said. ...
The woman was discovered on the third floor of the building, on the south side of campus.
Update, 11:15 a.m.: A Long Beach Fire spokesman tells ABC7 that the victim "apparently fell down the elevator shaft" of the administrative building.
An anonymous employee at CSU Long Beach says in an email that "the victim was not faculty, but a respected staff member." Below is a letter from Mary Stephens, the school's vice president of administration and finance.
Dear Campus Community:
I am very sad to inform you that this morning, due to an unfortunate incident at the Foundation Building, a member of our campus community has died. At this time, we are notifying family members and a complete investigation involving University Police and the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office has been initiated.
The university has endured a terrible tragedy today. I know all of us extend our deepest condolences to the victim's family, friends and co-workers.
A counselor with the Employee Assistance Program is available for employees. They can contact Corrie O'Toole at 562/985-7434.
The Daily 49er reports that "employees and students were evacuated after they heard a scream coming from the third floor elevator, according to a Foundation building employee."
Update, 2:10 p.m.: Long Beach fire Captain Rich Brandt tells City News that investigators believe the elevator got stuck between floors, "and the woman tried to climb out but was crushed when the elevator shifted."
Update, 3:30 p.m.: The woman was reportedly dead before firefighters even arrived. When they did, Brandt tells the Press-Telegram that they "worked for more than an hour using a rope and pulley system to lift the elevator and free the body."
The local newspaper described a horrific scene outside the accident site, where the victim's fellow employees hugged each other and cried. Meanwhile, CSULB's media-relations office is denying there was any way to predict the elevator's fatal malfunction today:
The three-story building is about 20 years old and has two elevators, Beron said. She said the elevator where the accident occurred had no reported problems before [the] incident.
Update, 7:30 p.m.: The university has released the following statement, identifying the victim as Annette Lujan.
This morning a Cal State Long Beach employee was fatally injured in an apparent elevator malfunction in the CSULB Foundation building.
Annette Lujan, who was the sole occupant of the elevator, attempted to exit the elevator after an apparent malfunction that occurred between floors. Initial information indicates that the elevator started to move as she was attempting to exit. University Police and the Long Beach Fire Department responded immediately to a call of a woman trapped in the elevator, but Lujan succumbed to her injuries at the scene.
The details of the accident are under investigation.
Lujan, 48, a nine-year employee of the university's grants and contracts office, was a resident of Huntington Beach.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.