updated 5/1/2009 6:32:27 PM ET 2009-05-01T22:32:27

A blind man fell to his death in an elevator shaft inside a building with a history of elevator violations, and authorities on Friday were investigating whether malfunctioning doors played a role.

The body of 67-year-old Sheldon Scott was discovered Thursday night inside a 10-story apartment building in the Bronx where he lived with his wife.

Scott's wife reported him missing Thursday afternoon, about four hours after he left their third-floor apartment to go to the bank. Officers who searched the building later found him in the elevator shaft. Police said Scott was legally blind.

The medical examiner's office on Friday ruled the death an accident.

The building has been cited for 14 elevator violations since 1991, including three that were dismissed on Wednesday, according to a city Web site. A separate complaint logged Thursday from a caller reporting Scott's death includes a notation saying, "shaft open/unguarded."

City Department of Buildings spokesman Tony Sclafani said the accident was under investigation, but declined further comment. There was no response to a telephone message left with the building's owner.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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