Falling Bricks Leave NYC Toddler Brain Dead

Greta Greene, 2, hit in head by crumbling facade in Manhattan
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2015 6:00 AM CDT
Falling Bricks Leave NYC Toddler Brain Dead

(Newser) – A 2-year-old girl is in critical condition after she was hit in the head by falling bricks on Manhattan's Upper West Side yesterday. Greta Greene was on a bench outside the Esplanade Manhattan senior living home with her grandmother, Susan Frierson, when debris fell from the building's eighth-floor window ledge and hit the girl's head. A witness says Greta was "gushing blood from her head," reports the New York Post. She regained consciousness after an Esplanade nurse began CPR, reports NBC New York. Paramedics then rushed her to a hospital, where doctors removed part of her skull to relieve brain swelling. The New York Daily News reports she is brain dead. Frierson, 60, who was struck in the ankle and wrist, was admitted to a hospital in serious but stable condition.

"The bricks just came off the building without warning," says a doorman. "I saw the grandma stagger. She was holding the baby in her arms." Authorities are investigating what caused the debris to fall from the building, built in 1919. There hadn't been any recent complaints about the facade, according to records, but work had been completed on the structure recently and at least two other windows appeared to be missing bricks yesterday, reports the Post. In 2010-2011, the building's owner paid a $6,467 fine for failing to complete a facade inspection on time. In a statement, per the New York Times, the Department of Buildings says "a violation has been issued for a failure to maintain the property in a safe and code compliant manner. The department is requiring that the property owner construct a sidewalk shed to protect the public." (A falling gargoyle killed a bride-to-be last year.)

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