NEW ORLEANS -- Five people were hospitalized with minor injuries when a type of elevator they rode in at a Central Business District construction site suddenly dropped and crashed several stories to the ground below.

It was about 2:45 p.m. when the hoist, owned by Eagle Access, failed. There were 11 people inside the hoist when it fell, according to Woodward Design+Build, the contractor building The Strand, a condominium building at the South Market District.

A hoist is an elevator on the outside of a building. The hoist on the outside of The Strand, a 15-story building, reportedly dropped from the seventh floor.

A foreman at the construction site at Julia and South Rampart streets said a safety spring at the base of the shaft helped to lessen the impact.

Woodward said inspectors from Eagle Access and a third party were expected on the site Saturday to determine a cause of the equipment failure.

A search of Occupational Safety and Health Administration records revealed no prior violations for Eagle Access.