Man Dies After Piece Of SoHo Fire Escape Plummets 7 Stories

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New York man has died a day after after a piece of a fire escape fell off a building in SoHo, critically injuring him and another person.

Police say 58-year-old Richard Marchart, of Garden City, succumbed to his injuries.

Marchart and a 24-year-old woman were rushed to Bellevue Hospital “with serious, life-threatening injuries.” Police sources said both victims suffered head injuries and the man had a possible skull fracture.

The building was undergoing an inspection of its facade at the time the accident, FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Gala Jr. said.

“I just became aware of it when I saw a kid crying,” said witness Chris Siemer, who works in a nearby store. “I heard a loud noise. I saw maybe a kid 11 years old crying on the corner and his mom was likely aggressively pulling him away. And I looked — yeah, there were two bodies on the floor.”

The building inspector, who works for a private contractor, was standing on the fire escape when the step came loose under her and plunged seven stories, according to Gala.

“She actually fell partially through the fire escape,” he said. “Thankfully she was able to pull herself up.”

She was evaluated by EMS and refused medical aid.

The Department of Buildings responded to the scene, along with the NYPD, FDNY and Office of Emergency Management.

The DOB issued a violation for failure to safeguard the building. It will now also require the building owner to hire fire guards, who will direct people out of the building in the event of a fire instead of using the fire escape.

The department said the building was last inspected by 2013 and no unsafe conditions were found.

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