Firefighters Rescue Stranded Partygoers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A young man remained in critical condition Sunday night, following a stairwell collapse during an early-morning rooftop party in the East Village.

As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, the victim fell at least two stories in the accident around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, at the top of the seven-story building at 159 Second Ave., near East 10th Street.

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“The stairs broke through – boom, boom, boom,” an attendee said.

The victim’s hand was seen in a photo dangling from a gaping hole where a landing once was, moments after he plunged down and crashed onto the hard marble below.

“He literally just went through three sets of marble stairs,” said a student at the party who was friends with the 20-year-old victim.

The student, who did not want his name used, was one of the first people to reach the victim after the fall.

“He broke the first stair, which triggered when he fell through the second stair, that broke, and then he fell to the third one, and that broke,” the student said.

Witnesses said it began as an NYU student house party, with about 50 people crowding the rooftop. The area was supposed to be off limits.

The group heard the thunderous crash as the young man fell.

“He was drunk — he was jumping on the stairs and he fell through the stairs,” a witness said.

“There was just blood everywhere, but he survived,” another said.

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The man who fell was admitted to Bellevue Hospital. He injured his leg and suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported. The man was apparently jumping up and down on the landing.

Meanwhile, firefighters used a ladder and cherry-picker basket to rescue the other partygoers trapped above.

“There was literally no access in and out of the building, and the elevator wasn’t working either,” said the friend of the man who fell.

On Sunday, inspectors returned to the building. The stair landings were boarded up and taped off, and the marble debris was piled up with trash.

The victim’s friends were grateful that he survived, but were questioning their own safety.

“At the end, stairs — even if you jump on them — I expect not to fall through them,” the friend said. “He had a collapsed lung and two broken ribs, so, super, super lucky.”

As of Sunday night, the victim was recovering in critical, but stable, condition. The city Building Department was investigating the accident.

On Sunday, building owner Sasha Realty was issued a violation for failure to maintain.

Friends said the victim did not live in the building.

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