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Frozen, Icy Water Tank Leaves Bronx Public Housing Residents Worried

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Fifteen stories above a Bronx apartment building stands, ice cascades downward from a frozen rooftop water tank.

CBS 2 learned about the frozen water tank on the roof of the building at 735 Magenta St. – part of the Gun Hill Houses public housing development — through a tweet to CBS 2′s Dana Tyler from resident Al Percopo. He was concerned the tank might fall and someone might get hurt.

And as CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported Thursday, the sight of the tank with its plume of ice was pretty from above. But residents agreed it was dangerous to those down below.

“Look at it,” said a resident named Eddie. “It might fall any minute now.”

“I never saw that before,” added resident Tatyana Tomlinson. “That is scary.”

Residents of the building at 735 Magenta St. – part of the Gun Hill Houses public housing development in the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx — said the water tower is leaking. One man said it is not the first time it has happened.

“The water tower has a pipe that comes down from it, and it busted open, and all the water started coming out and stuff like that,” said Angel Bonilla, a 25-year resident of the building.

But this time, the leak is frozen, and the cascade of ice is dangerously close to the edge of the building – despite a protective fence on the roof.

“I live here 45 years, and that’s been a month already up there,” said a resident named Eddie.

He said that month is a month too long.

“All they got to do is go up there and clean that, and everybody will be safe,” he said. But as it is, “that’s not safe, because all the kids are playing around there.”

Residents said it appears the only thing the building has done about the issue so far is to cordon off the sidewalk located directly below.

“People still keep passing. They don’t care,” said resident Tamara Ramirez. “They put the fence up, but people take it back down.”

CBS 2 tried to ask maintenance workers, who said they knew nothing about the frozen water tank.

Residents also directed CBS 2 to a management office a few blocks away, where

Finally, the New York City Housing Authority released a statement, telling CBS 2 it became aware of the leak back in January.

NYCHA said it did, in fact, install that snow fence around the front of the building and the area below, so as to prevent any injuries if the ice melts. But the fence was knocked down.

“Unfortunately, the inclement weather has interfered with our contractor’s ability to make the necessary repairs due the icy roof conditions that would pose safety issues for the workers,” the NYCHA said in part. “The roof tank will be repaired as soon as the weather permits.”

And residents hope that happens before someone gets hurt.

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