- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say a man has died after falling down an elevator shaft in Newark.

But it’s still not clear how the accident occurred.

Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura says 51-year-old Absecon resident James Mahoney was working at the former United Hospital site in Newark when he fell around 2 p.m. Tuesday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fontoura says Mahoney was a manager with a firm that was contracted by the county to remove asbestos from the building. Mahoney and his wife, who also works for the firm, were working on the second floor when he fell.

Removing asbestos from the building is part of a larger project to build a large vocational-technical high school on the 7-acre property.

The school is scheduled to open in 2017.

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