NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 5-month-old boy and a 7-year-old girl escaped serious injury in the Bronx Wednesday night when a ceiling collapsed on them in a public housing building.
The children’s family says NYCHA is to blame, claiming they’ve been complaining about a leak in their Soundview apartment for weeks.
On Wednesday, pieces of the ceiling were scattered about the apartment in the Sack Wern Houses — in the baby’s crib, on the couch, and even on the dinner table.
“We heard this big whooshing sound, like a thump,” grandma Charlene Dunlop said.
She was in the other room when it started to crumble.
“We see the baby woke up crying with the plastic ceiling on him, my granddaughter was here,” Charlene said. “She was trying to get up. As she was trying, the other part of the ceiling hit her head.”
The children were both hospitalized with minor injuries. Their grandmother says she filed a complaint with the city for the leaky ceiling weeks ago.
“They check and they say they was coming back and never came back,” she said.
After meeting with Charlene, CBS2’s Ali Bauman knocked on her neighbor’s door only to find out their ceiling had also collapsed a few hours prior.
“I see the ceiling bubbling and the next minute I get up and the whole thing was coming down,” neighbor Vilma Guevara said.
Workers quickly mended the hole but never checked on her neighbor. Now, NYCHA is playing catch up and cleaning debris.
In a statement sent to CBS2, the city’s housing authority called the collapse “unacceptable.”
“Staff was at resident’s apartment this evening to check the ceiling and ensure family was ok,” the statement continued. “We will schedule the leak repair as soon as possible. We must do better for our residents.”
Wednesday’s collapse comes hours after “Sex and the City” star and gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon toured a New York City public housing apartment building, calling the conditions “devastating.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have been at war over NYCHA for months. Cuomo blames NYCHA’s mismanagement on the Mayor’s Office, while de Blasio has in turn ridiculed the governor for doing too little to help the housing authority.