Man killed in lift shaft plunge…

Demolition man and machine fall down lift shaft in Milwaukee.

A man killed when the machine he was operating plunged down an elevator shaft on Milwaukee’s west side has been identified by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office as Anthony D. Azarian, 32. In a bitter irony, Azarian’s uncle, Anthony A. Azarian, 40, was killed in 2000 when a trench collapsed at a demolition site in Caledonia.

Azarian was employed with Azarian Wrecking of Racine, which is involved in remodelling work at the historic CH Coakley Co. building here the accident was reported shortly before 2 pm last Monday, according to a medical examiner’s report.

According to the report, Azarian was operating a forklift with a work crew removing bricks from a walled-off elevator shaft on the seventh floor.

The forklift was equipped with a bucket he was using to remove some of the bricks, which investigators believed caused the forklift to list forward and fall about 80 feet to the bottom of the shaft, according to the report.

The accident is under investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to the report.

Azarian Wrecking is a family-owned company that was created almost 60 years ago.