A visually impaired man died after falling in an elevator shaft

Activist Yetnebersh Nigussie is calling for an investigation into the death Dires Hunachew, a visually impaired man, who was killed on Monday after falling into an elevator with no floors, in the capital Addis Ababa.

Visually impaired man accident _ Ethiopia

August 30, 2019

A visually impaired man who is said to be twenty-six years of age reportedly died on Monday around 10:00 a.m in Akaki district of Addis Ababa. He is identified as Dires Hunachew, and he was a graduate of Kotebe Metropolitan College which is the capital Addis Ababa.

According to a report by BBC Amharic, he died after falling off on an elevator shaft from the 7th floor. Public relation head of Ethiopian National Association of the Blind, Gebre Teshome, has confirmed the news to BBC Amharic.

It sounds almost impossible for someone to fell in an elevator shaft while trying to use the elevator but that is exatcly what happened according to the BBC report.

Dires was on the 7th floor of Akaki Sub-city building where he went to apply for workplace transfer from Kolfe sub-city in the capital. He wanted to go to the third floor and pressed the elevator button from the 7th floor. As the elevator door opens, Dires enters but, very sadly, there was no elevator floor and he was plunged to his death to a 21 meters elevator shaft hole.

Yetnebersh Nigussie is a visually impaired legal professional and activist, also a member of Ethiopia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, expressed her sadness in a facebook page update on August 28, and she called on an investigation to the tragic incident :

“I am extremely saddened by the death of a blind diploma graduate from kotebe Metro politan university this year, who was at the akaki sub-city administration building to confirm his employment assignment. Deres is the name of this person and his death was caused due to a malfunctioning elevator of the government building. I call for an urgent investigation and proper safety measures to all person with disabilities, at least in public facilities funded with tax payers money. Deres was a father of one child and will remain to be a sound of Ethiopian blind persons to claim their rights to be protected. we demand progress; not promises!”

The public relation head of Ethiopia’s national blind association said that it is the first elevator accident death in the history of the association.

“The accident is even dangers for anyone with no vision problem let along for a visually impaired person,” Gebre told BBC. He said that building construction code is violated. He said elevators need to have braille writing and voice instruction but those assembled in Ethiopia lack that feature.

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