A high potential near miss incident occurred recently while conducting a routine operation. The operation at the time was laying down 4-1/2 inch tubing and involved placing a single joint into the mouse hole. The joint was latched using a set of single joint elevators in order to pick it up and lay it down on the catwalk. An air tugger was used to hoist the joint of tubing and while lowering it down the V-door the elevators opened, releasing the joint and resulting in the joint falling down the V-door onto the catwalk. Fortunately there were no personnel in the immediate vicinity. One important fact to consider is that when this event occurred, the crew had just changed out for a coffee break and the man coming back on the job did not check the latching of the elevator nor did he check the integrity of the safety pin.