Jerusalem – A ten year old Israeli boy who has been fighting for his life after a freak elevator accident this past week has died of his injuries.
10 year old Yechiel Sussman, a resident of the Kiryat Belz section of Beit Shemesh, was reportedly playing with a rope when he entered his building’s elevator on Monday afternoon.
As reported by B’Chadrei Charedim (http://bit.ly/2nltMDZ), Sussman had one end of the rope around his neck and arm when he entered the elevator and was unaware that the other end of the rope remained outside of the elevator when the doors closed. As the elevator began its descent, the rope tightened around the boy’s neck, strangling him.
Other children who lived in the building noticed that the elevator had gotten stuck and notified an adult that their friend was inside the malfunctioning elevator. Residents’ effort to open the elevator proved fruitless and because no one understood the gravity of the situation, calls were made to Azriel Weiss, a Hatzalah member who lived nearby.\
Weiss, a long time friend of the boy’s father, Rabbi Yisroel Sussman, said that two calls were made initially: one to his cell phone and one to his residence, but because he was not home and was in an area with no cell phone service, he did not receive either call. After a third call was placed ten minutes later, Weiss’ daughter located her father and apprised him of the situation.
Weiss, who has considerable experience with elevator doors, saw the end of the rope sticking out of the elevator door when he entered the building’s first floor. He pried the doors open, and immediately heard something fall heavily to the ground several floors below. Alarmed by the noise, Weiss raced down to the building’s lowest level, adjacent to the playground, where he made the gruesome discovery inside the elevator.
“I saw the boy laying, unconscious, on the floor of the elevator with the rope wrapped around his neck.
Weiss immediately began CPR on Sussman who had no pulse and was not breathing, while contacting Magen David Adom. Police and firefighters responded to the scene and Sussman was rushed to Hadassah Medical Center’s Ein Kerem hospital where doctors fought to save his life. Sussman died this morning, just days after his oldest sister was engaged to be married.
Weiss estimated that because the call for help was placed to his private phone lines and not Hatzalah’s central number, precious minutes were lost. He appealed to the public to call Hatzalah directly instead of contacting members on their personal phones.
“When someone call me, I am not always available,” said Weiss. “Call the direct line and dispatchers will send anyone who is in the area, including me. We are talking about precious minutes that can mean the difference between life and death.”
Yechiel Sussman, whose father is a sofer, a teacher and a prominent Belzer chosid, was known for his upbeat personality and charm. His funeral took place on Friday afternoon with the procession passing by the large Belzer Shul in Kiryat Belz, with burial on Har Hamenuchos.
“There are no words for this tragedy,” said one family friend. “Hakadosh Baruch Hu should help us that we should never know this kind of heartache and that we should be blessed with happier tidings.”