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Falling Facade Kills Woman In Times Square

New York has a spectacular skyline and hundreds of tall buildings. It’s no wonder that the occasional falling brick can be overlooked. Mayor DeBlasio is trying to tame the scaffolding problem by changing Local Law 11 and shortening the cycle of inspections for buildings taller than six floors. On top of that, the New York City Department of Buildings is planning on filing criminal charges against recidivist violators of their façade policies. In one example, one company was fined $35,000 for failing to provide adequate protection to the public after it filed an Unsafe Façade Inspection Safety Report. Buildings are facing having to hire a façade inspector every two years for inspections to their buildings. 

CBS Local New York reports that a woman was killed when a piece of a building fell on her in Times Square. 

60-year-old Erica Tishman was walking at 49th Street and 7th Avenue in Times Square when she was fatally struck by falling debris. Commuters looked on in horror as the incident played out. 

First responders arrived on the scene at about 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, but it was too late. Tishman was pronounced dead. 

Authorities believe that Tishman was struck by a falling piece of the building’s façade. 

The Department of Buildings had warned the owners of the building that an accident like this could happen. A report filed back in April recorded numerous violations at the 729 Seventh Avenue address. The violations included “failure to maintain exterior building façade” and noted, “damaged terra cotta above the 15th floor in several locations posed a threat to pedestrians below.” 

The owner of the building was fined $1,200. However, the violation was never confirmed to be fixed, which caused the violation to remain open. 

Until it is deemed safe, the area of 49th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues will remain closed. 

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