An elevator car in a midtown office building plunged three stories Tuesday morning, leaving eight passengers with minor injuries, authorities said.

All four elevators in the building at 1201 Broadway, at 29th Street, a 14-story office building, were previously cited for minor violations, but Tuesday's accident appeared unrelated to those problems, according to the city's Department of Buildings."It looks like the electrical component of the elevator failed and it dropped," said Ted Birkhahn, a department spokesman. "The earlier February violations appear unrelated to what happened today, but we are still investigating."

The accident occurred around 10:30 a.m. A witness, Carlos Castro, who was waiting for an elevator in the lobby of the building, said the car that failed had gone up from the ground floor, stopped suddenly on the third floor, then quickly dropped.

"I heard a big boom, then people in the elevator began to scream," he said. "I ran outside and called 911 while the super in the building came up and unlocked the elevator doors."

According to witnesses, the elevator came to rest halfway between the ground floor and the basement. Firefighters, who arrived a few minutes later, pulled the passengers to safety.