WARNING: This video is graphic and very difficult to watch.
One of every New Yorker’s worst nightmares played out Thursday morning when a man was crushed to death by an elevator in his luxury high-rise as his horrified neighbors looked on, authorities said.
Sam Waisbren, 30, clawed desperately to escape the packed lift as it plunged from the lobby into the darkness of the shaft below, but he was crushed between the elevator car and the shaft wall, according to officials.
“The guy literally was trying to climb out onto the floor while the elevator was still [moving down],” said a building worker, who witnessed the death and asked not to be identified. “It’s awful.”
The horrific scene, which played out at the 23-story Manhattan Promenade tower on Third Avenue near East 25th Street just after 8:15 a.m., was captured on building surveillance footage exclusively obtained by The Post.
As one woman stands waiting, the elevator door opens into the lobby and a man wearing a backpack emerges, then wheels around as the lift gives way and Waisbren and five others go rocketing downward, the clip shows.