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Nation in brief: Woman in motorized chair falls down elevator shaft

A woman in a motorized wheelchair slammed into a hotel elevator, forcing the doors to open, and then fell about 30 feet down the shaft early Saturday, a city fire official said.

It took firefighters about 45 minutes to rescue the woman at the Claridge Tower at Bally’s Atlantic City. The woman, who was not identified, was “extremely fortunate” to be alive, Battalion Chief Michael Mooney said.

Mooney said the woman was conscious when she was transported to the hospital.

The woman was trying to catch an elevator from the casino hotel’s mezzanine level, Mooney said.

She didn’t make it in time – and the momentum pushed the wheelchair through the now-closed doors on the second floor. The elevator car was already on its way up when she fell. Her wheelchair fell on top of her.

Two Bally’s workers who rushed over to help were injured while looking down the elevator shaft. Mooney wasn’t sure how.

Firefighters had to rig a rope and pulley system to get the injured woman out, Mooney said.

New haven, Conn.

Yale plans expansion

Yale University has approved plans for its largest expansion in decades, changes that will allow it to raise enrollment by 15 percent, school President Richard Levin announced Saturday.

The Yale Corp. authorized creating two new residential colleges that will increase student enrollment to 6,100, Levin said. It will be the New Haven university’s biggest expansion since it began admitting women in 1969.

The new colleges are expected to open in 2013. Yale currently has 12 residential colleges in a system designed to give students a small-college experience within a larger university.


Man leaps with no parachute

A 29-year-old man leaped out of a plane at 10,000 feet with a camera but no parachute Saturday. His body was found next to a house with a damaged roof, police said.

Sloan Carafello, of Schenectady, who was observing on the flight, followed an instructor, student and videographer out the door, wearing no skydiving gear, officials said.

Police said they did not suspect foul play.

Robert Rawlins, pilot and owner of the Duanesburg Skydiving Club, said he was flying the single-engine plane and had begun to close the door when Carafello jumped.


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