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Missing elevator sends New Jersey grandma down shaft as horrified granddaughter looks on

A woman in her 70s opened the door to the elevator in her New Jersey apartment building and stepped inside — only to plunge down the shaft because it wasn’t there.

The victim fell from the first floor, and the young granddaughter she had just picked up from school was left staring wide-eyed.

The woman was trapped, and neighbors at her Jersey City building said they could hear her screams as panic set in.

Brandon Rennick and his cousin raced to help, first securing the child who was still safely on the first-floor landing. Jersey City fire rescue officials also responded to the scene.

The woman was hospitalized with serious injuries, including a broken elbow and stomach tear, her daughter and a neighbor said late Tuesday.

It’s not clear what went wrong with the elevator. Caution tape was seen blocking off the entrance to after the incident.

Caution tape over the elevator. (NBC New York)

People who live in the building claim that the elevator problem is just the tip of the iceberg.

Edwin Perdomo, who lives next to the victim’s daughter, said his apartment is plagued by mold, leaks and flies. He said he has complained repeatedly, but nothing has been done to address the issues.

“People complain about issues from the day they moved in and nothing ever gets done,” Perdomo said. “I’ve counted people with stories about this elevator, getting stuck.”

The building is run by Cross County Management. No one there answered the phone late Tuesday.

A neighbor said management was at the building Monday after the accident and is scheduled to meet with residents later this week.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com