Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Center to Reopen Monday After Elevator Crash

The sheriff's sergeant seriously hurt in Thursday's elevator mishap remains hospitalized in critical condition

Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Center will be open for business Monday after an elevator mishap last week left a sheriff's sergeant critically injured, court officials said.

The city hired experts to inspect the 17-story building's elevators over the weekend and determined them to be safe, a spokesman for the First Judicial District said Sunday.

The elevators involved in the incident will remain out of service for some time, officials said.

Anyone involved in an ongoing trial should report to the CJC on Monday, officials said. Those who were scheduled to appear on Thursday and Friday will have their proceedings rescheduled for a later date.

The building, officially known as the Stout Center for Criminal Justice, was evacuated Thursday after a staff elevator carrying a sheriff's sergeant shot up to the penthouse level, breaking through the shaft ceiling and into the machine room.

Sheriff's Sgt. Paul Owens was thrown around the car suffering several broken bones in his back. Debris from the crash fell down the elevator shaft and crushed another car on the first floor. A woman inside that car suffered minor injuries.

Philadelphia Sheriff's Office
Sheriff's Sgt. Paul Owens has been with the office for more than 20 years, officials said.

Investigators have not said what may have caused the malfunction. They closed the building to inspect all the elevators. Records showed a state-certified inspector cleared the lifts in June.

Owens remains in critical condition at Hahnemann University Hospital.

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