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New York Times Building Debris Injures Pedestrian As High Winds Rip New York City

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Debris from The New York Times Building in Manhattan injured a pedestrian yesterday, prompting the city to issue a safety violation to the building’s owner for failing to safeguard the public.   At least one other pedestrian was injured elsewhere in Manhattan from flying debris, as New York City and the surrounding area was battered by winds in excess of 40 mph.  

According to The New York Times, 911 operators in New York City began receiving accident reports at 3:30 pm yesterday that said a man was hit by debris from The New York Times Building at West 40th Street and Eighth Avenue. The police described the man as in his 30s and said he was treated for a cut above an eye by emergency medical workers.  A spokesperson for the newspaper said that glass did fall from a window of the 17th floor of The New York Times Building, but the newspaper was unable to confirm if that is what, in fact, hit the man.

The New York City Department of Buildings said it would be issuing safety violations to the owner of The New York Times Building because inspectors had determined that an exterior glass panel fell from the 52-story tower, causing minor injuries to a pedestrian.  The 2nd through the 28th floors of the New York Times Building are owned by the newspaper, while Forest City Ratner owns the floors above that.  The ground floor is owned by both companies.

Elsewhere in New York City, a second pedestrian was injured by falling debris from a building at 1345 Avenue of the Americas, at 55th Street.   The severity of the pedestrian’s injuries is not known, and emergency response personnel at the scene would not confirm if the victim was struck by glass.   However, a tenant from the building told The New York Times that a public address announcement about 4 p.m. reported that firefighters had arrived “because a window has come out on the 55th side.”

Yesterday, New York City was hammered by winds gusting above 40 mph, as a severe winter storm tracked a deadly path from the Midwest to Maine.  The storm was blamed for at least 16 deaths, and left large sections of the Northeast and Midwest without power.  All of the New York City area’s three major airports reported delays in excess of 2 hours due to the dangerous winds.

Wind was also blamed for the collapse of a wall at a construction site in Brooklyn. And in Passaic, New Jersey, a 59-year-old man was pinned beneath a tree that was uprooted by the gusting wind. Fortunately, neighbors were able to pull him out, but he suffered a dislocated shoulder and cuts.  Reports also said that glass had fallen from a building in Passaic, but no one was injured in that incident.

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