NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A 35-year-old woman fell to her death from the 17th floor balcony of her Midtown Manhattan apartment after the railing apparently gave way, police said.
Jennifer Rosoff stepped out to smoke a cigarette on the balcony of her corner apartment at a building known as Stonehenge 57 at First Avenue and 57th Street shortly before 1 a.m. Thursday, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
She was sitting on the railing when it suddenly collapsed, causing her to fall backwards, CBS 2’s Don Champion reported. Rosoff, an ad executive, then plunged 17 stories and landed on first-floor construction scaffolding.[cbs-audio url=”http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/alex-balcony.mp3″ size=”340px” download=”false” name=”Woman Killed In 17-Story Fall From Midtown Manhattan Balcony” artist=”WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman Reports”]
Investigators said Rosoff was on a first date at the time of the incident. Moments before the fall, her date told her she probably shouldn’t lean on the railing and then heard loud snapping sounds before she fell, authorities said. Police spoke to the man and alcohol and foul play have been ruled out as possible causes of the incident.
Responding officers found Rosoff unconscious and unresponsive, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Residents of the building were shocked on Thursday.
“I’m very sorry to hear what happened,” one resident said. “The building is very well maintained so I was surprised when I heard the announcement.”
A neighbor who has been in the apartment in question said the balcony is very narrow.
“You’ve got about two feet or less,” neighbor Sara Shubert said. “It’s for standing and smoking and looking at the moon or whatever.”
Shubert added she’ll never forget the sound of Rosoff’s body landing on the scaffolding.
“I had no idea, but I’d never imagined that it was what it was,” she told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman. “A dull, big thud.”
The city’s Department of Buildings was at the scene Thursday examining the stability of other balcony railings. It issued an order to residents to stay off their balconies until they are all inspected, Jones reported. Only the upper floor apartments have balconies in Rosoff’s building.[cbs-audio url=”http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/balcony-1-jones-w41-jpowers.mp3″ size=”340″ download=”false” name=”Woman Killed In 17-Story Fall From Midtown Manhattan Balcony” artist=”1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports”]
Rosoff worked at The New Yorker, Lucky Magazine and Cosmopolitan before recently joining a new media advertising startup called TripleLift, according to her LinkedIn profile.
In a statement, her boss said coworkers were distraught, saying Rosoff was a “well-loved and highly respected member of our team. Her tremendous energy and humor brought so much joy to the office.”
She attended Tulane University in New Orleans.
“It shakes you up. It’s a shame,” Shubert said.
Stonehenge 57 issued the following statement: “By now most of you have probably heard about the recent tragedy. Our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of Ms. Rosoff. We have reached out to the family to express these sentiments personally. We are cooperating fully with the investigation into the cause of this terrible accident. If you have any questions please contact Jason Dworkin at 646-381-7799 during normal business hours.”
There was no immediate word how long residents in the building will have to stay off their balconies.
City inspection reports did not find any recent complaints or violations pertaining to balconies in the building, Champion reported.
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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)