2 injured in elevator accident at Criminal Justice Center

PHILADELPHIA (WTXF/AP) An elevator malfunction at Philadelphia's main criminal courthouse has left a sheriff's sergeant with critical head and chest injuries and a second employee injured.

Authorities say the sergeant was in an employee elevator at the 17-story Criminal Justice Center. They say the elevator car shot up quickly to a high floor before crashing through concrete flooring above.

Sheriff Jewell Williams says responders forced the door open and found Sgt. Paul Owens bleeding from deep lacerations to his head. He says the 50-year-old officer is hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

Jewell says debris fell into an adjacent shaft and struck an elevator car in the basement. Employee Beverly Smith was found inside with seemingly minor injuries.

Renovation of the elevators was to start in October and take two years. 19 elevators are to be worked on.
The state says the elevators passed state inspection in June.

The CJC is closed Friday as the investigation into elevator malfunction continues.