Huge Glass Panel Falls 50 Stories in New York, Injures 2

August 15, 2008

A 1,500-pound glass panel being installed near the top of a skyscraper fell more than 50 stories onto a pedestrian walkway Tuesday morning and shattered, injuring two people.

The 5- by 13-foot panel was being attached to the 51st-floor facade of a Bank of America tower under construction in midtown Manhattan across from Bryant Park, contractor Tishman Construction Corp. said.

Passers-by ran toward the park when the glass shattered, raining pieces onto the sidewalk next to the 54-story office tower, which is occupied below the 29th floor. A block of Sixth Avenue was closed for hours while the shards were cleaned up.

Two men were hospitalized with minor injuries.

The city Department of Buildings stopped work on the facade and cited Tishman for failing to safeguard the public and property, failing to maintain vertical netting and not having a second exit route on the building’s top three floors.

Tishman spokesman Richard Kielar said the contractor would “modify procedures appropriately” once it determines why the glass fell.

Last October, a bucket attached to a crane fell from the top of the building, injuring eight people.

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