All over the city people are being forced to live in life-threatening dangerous conditions in New York City public housing complexes. Multiple investigations have shown that residents have to live in wet, moldy apartments infested with pests with the threat of apartment fires and ceiling collapses and staircase accidents looming over their heads every day.
A fire escape staircase collapse in Brooklyn sent a man plunging four stories to the hard sidewalk below earlier this month. The 23-year old victim was leaning against the railing of the fourth floor structure attached to the Lefferts Boulevard apartment building when the metal gave way, sending him over the edge to the concrete.
Late last month a Dominican woman became the victim of a bizarre staircase accident in Manhattan when she slipped and fell to her death. She was visiting friends in an apartment building in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Inwood when she, somehow, fell down a flight of stairs and then tumbled through a window. She fell five stories to the pavement below and was declared dead by rescue crews when they arrived on scene.
Every year dozens of people are injured in staircase accidents in New York, some of them seriously. One common place for these accidents is in subway stations. The surfaces can be difficult to navigate-due to poor lighting, improper maintenance and disrepair. Recently, one video that went viral highlighted the danger of one particular stairwell at the Sunset Park Station on 36th Street.
Every year there are hundreds of staircase accidents in New York City apartments. Many of these not result in serious injuries. They don't often cause significant interruptions in a person's life and the injuries heal within days. However, some accidents are much more serious and do result in hospitalization and lost time from work. Such kinds of injuries include:
Poor maintenance is being blamed for a bizarre accident in Harlem which ended with one man trapped in a collapsed stairwell and the residents of the "shoddy" building out on the street. On August 30th, 34-year old Charlie Vargas was climbing the defective staircase in a building located at East 104th St. in Harlem when the step under his foot simply crumbled. He fell through the hole that opened up underneath him and lay trapped until rescue workers arrived and were able to lift him out.
Those of us living in New York City several years ago remember the harrowing incident of an 8-year-old boy injured when the staircase collapsed in his Park Slope, Brooklyn apartment building. The boy was standing in the interior stairwell of his 5-story building when several of the landings above him suddenly gave way.