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Security Gate Collapse In Brooklyn Raises Awareness About Potential Dangers

(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The woman and child crushed when a security gate collapsed onto a Park Slope sidewalk Thursday are out of the hospital.

The incident is raising anxiety about something as simple as walking down the street.

Just down the street from the accident site — 225 Fifth Avenue  — Ralph Isikov is worried enough about his security gate to ask his landlord to have it inspected.

“You never know something happen with this – you never know,”  Isikov told CBS 2′s Tony Aiello.

It’s a danger most New Yorkers haven’t contemplated much. Thursday afternoon a roll-up security gate structure came loose from a building at Fifth Avenue and President Street and toppled onto the sidewalk – injuring a young boy and his nanny.

Emergency crews responded to the scene and workers removed and took apart the massive steel gate. Investigators believe the gate’s age was a major factor causing the fall.

The nanny suffered head cuts and was taken the hospital in critical condition. She said she did her best to protect the boy, who suffered a badly broken leg.

“That’s our job, to protect the child, take care of the child — that’s what we do best,” said Indi Mateo, a fellow nanny.

The frightening incident has many taking a good look at security gates for the first time.

“I would never think that those are a danger, absolutely,” Park Slope resident Rachel Hollander told CBS 2′s Aiello. “I feel like we live in the city, lots of freak things can happen once in ten years. If it’s something that happens routinely then you clearly have to change something.”

The gate structures typically attach to a frame that is welded or bolted to a building facade.

When the security gate is rolled up, the units are top heavy. The one that fell to the ground Thursday weighed more than 1,500 pounds.  You can bet the accident has many responsible landlords taking a second look at the integrity of their gates.

The building is owned by 4G Realty of Park Slope. A representative for the owner spoke with investigators on the scene, but deflected all responsibility.

“It is not my responsibility to inspect that gate. It is the responsibility of the store owner,” the representative said.

But according to the Buildings Department, the security gates are the building owner’s responsibility. The city doesn’t inspect the gates, however, because “it is not a permitted part of the building.”

The gates are considered cosmetic and therefore there is “….no mechanism to periodically inspect them.”

The Department of Buildings issued several citations to the landlord for failing to maintain the building.

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