Was a man killed after putting out his arm to stop the lift?!

Does a viral video show a man being killed after putting out his arm to stop the lift?! Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : Man Was Killed After Putting Out His Arm To Stop The Lift!

People are sharing a video on WhatsApp, and social media platforms like Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), claiming that it shows a man who was killed after putting out his arm to stop the lift for a lady.

GIDI / Dr Penking / KenyanTraffic / Interesting bits, Useful Info & Updates. :

Never Use Your Hand Or Leg To Hold An Elevator Door Open, The Sensors Might Be Faulty.

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Truth : Man Was Not Killed After Putting Out His Arm To Stop The Lift!

This appears to be yet another example of fake news circulating on WhatsApp and social media platforms, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : This Is A Very Old Video

Let me start by pointing out that this is a very old video, that was originally uploaded to YouTube in 2006 – about 18 years ago!

The original video, called “Hold The Door” is no longer available on YouTube, which removed it for violating its Terms of Service.

Fact #2 : Video Appears To Be Created For A Book Launch

I traced this video to an old YouTube channel called thepowerofnice, appears to be created to promote the launch of the book “The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness” (US | UK | AU).

It is likely that the video was a dark comedy skit filmed to show how there are better ways to be nice in the business world.

Fact #3 : Viral Video Appears To Be Edited

The original video is 37 seconds long, but interestingly, the newer version that’s going viral is just 30 seconds long. It appears that someone intentionally edited out the last 7 seconds to make it easier to fool people.

The last 7 seconds not only credit the video to ThePowerOfNice.com website, it also humorously points out that:

There’s a better way to be nice at the office.

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Fact #4 : No Legitimate News Report On This Incident

If a man really died, or lost his arm, after putting it out to stop a lift / elevator, it would have been major news and reported worldwide as a warning to everyone.

Yet, there was not even a single legitimate news report on such an incident over the past 18 years. That’s because this never happened.

Fact #5 : Many Signs Video Is Fake

Even without knowing the history and details of this video, a close examination will show several clues why this is a fake video, or rather, a skit:

  • CCTV recording date is missing the year.
  • The man absurdly extended his arm way out, when a normal person would simply use their hand, to stop the lift doors from closing.
  • The man’s torso is curiously not visible even with his arm fully extended.
  • The lift doors close completely, which would not be possible with the arm blocking them.
  • Blood appears on the elevator door before the arm is even amputated.
  • The arm gets amputated before it even hits the top of the elevator door frame.
  • The amputated arm does not bleed.

Maybe that’s why people are sharing this video at such a low resolution – it is easier to spot these clues in higher resolution videos.

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Fact #6 : Lift Doors (Generally) Won’t Trap Hands / Arms

According to Doug Guderian (archive) – an elevator engineer, licensed elevator mechanic, and an owner of an elevator company, lift doors generally won’t trap your hands or arms, unless you put them out when the doors are almost fully closed:

If a limb (an arm or a leg) is fully in the path of an elevator door, the door should reopen from the door sensor. If the sensor fails, the door will try to close, but the force is only enough to possibly bruise the limb. The 1/4 or 1/2 horsepower door motor does not have the strength to cut it in half. The safety code actually requires a maximum force setting of 30 pounds for the door closing. Since the door cannot fully close the doors closed and locked contacts will not make up so the elevator will not move.

Please also note: If you don’t put your hand all the way into the closing door assembly, you may not reach the sensor – it can be as much as 125mm (5 inches) to reach the sensor – your hand can get caught and injured.

Also note: Many of the sensors disable when the door is almost fully closed so that they do not detect the other door, or the strike post and keep indefinitely reopening. If you manage to get your fingers into the door at this point they will also get injured since fingers are not designed to stop a 100kg (220lb) door.

In summary, if you are using your hand to reverse the door, only do it when the door is still far enough open so that you can pull your hand our again if the door does not reverse as expected.

For safety reasons, it’s not a good idea to put out your hand or arm to stop the lift doors from closing. More so when you are actually inside the lift, and can use the door open button to hold it open, or to reopen the closing doors!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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