60-year-old woman struck, killed by falling debris from NYC building facade

The woman was hit by debris as she walked by the building.

December 17, 2019, 5:52 PM

A 60-year-old woman was killed after she was hit by debris that fell from a building in New York City.

A preliminary investigation by the Department of Buildings found that the woman was struck by falling debris as she walked by a residential building on 49th Street and 7th Avenue in the Midtown neighborhood of Manhattan Tuesday just after 10:45 a.m., according to the department.

She suffered trauma to her head and was unconscious by the time emergency responders arrived and was pronounced dead at the scene, city officials said.

Fire Department of New York personnel work at the scene as a woman was reported dead after debris fell on her near Times Square in New York, Dec. 17, 2019.
Amr Alfiky/Reuters

Engineers from the New York City Department of Buildings went to the scene to perform a "full structural stability inspection" of the building to ensure safety, Abigail Kunitz, deputy press secretary for the department, told ABC News in a statement.

"This is a tragedy, and the family and friends of the victim are in our thoughts," Kunitz said. "No pedestrian should be at risk from dangerous facade conditions."

Fire department and police department personnel work at the scene after a woman was killed by falling debris near Times Square in New York, Dec. 17, 2019.
Amr Alfiky/Reuters

The department received a permit to begin masonry repair work on the the building's facade on the penthouse and roof in July 2019.

A complaint against the building was made in January regarding a sign being removed from the side with no permits or protection for those on the street, adding that there was debris on the ground, city records show.

A thorough investigation will be conducted on the incident, Kunitz said. Whether scaffolding should have been placed around the building will be included in the investigation.

The victim's identity was not released. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

ABC News' Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.

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