A 14-year-old boy leapt to his death from the eighth floor of The Vessel at Hudson Yards in New York City. The teen, who hailed from New Jersey, committed suicide in front of his four family members.
The tragedy marked the fourth suicide at the structure since it opened in March 2019. Built at a cost of $200 million, the tourist attraction now faces the threat of closure.
Teen Did not Speak With Family Before Suicide
The teen, whose identity has not been revealed by the authorities, was visiting the 150-foot structure with his parents, sister and grandmother.
The New York Post reported that in the incident which occurred around 1.00 pm, a construction worker, Anthony DeMayo, who was near the site, heard "the bang" when the boy hit the ground.
"That's not a sound I'll ever forget," DeMayo told the outlet. "It's horrifying that this keeps happening. You can see looking at the barriers that they're easy enough to climb over."
Sources told the outlet that the boy said nothing to his family members before jumping off the structure. Following a series of suicides, a screening procedure was placed at the structure which allowed people to visit in groups of at least two.
Irina Popov, a tourist, told the outlet that it is difficult for the security guards to prevent determined jumpers. "Once you're inside nobody makes you stay close to your buddy. There are a couple of security guards on every level, but if you want to jump there's no way anyone can really stop you," said Popov.
The Vessel Might be Closed For Good- Stephen Ross
Speaking to the Daily Beast Stephen Ross, the billionaire behind Hudson Yards, said the structure might be closed for good following the latest suicide. "We thought we did everything that would really prevent this. It's hard to really fathom how something like that could happen. But you know, I feel terrible for the family," he told the outlet.
The structure, which was reopened two months after remaining closed following the three suicides, had placed additional security measures including restricting solo visits. As per the new rules only groups or minimum of two people per visit were allowed to enter the structure which also had additional staff looking for individuals in distress.
The authorities had even installed 'enhanced guest engagement and screening procedures to detect high-risk behaviors among visitors. "A family of five doesn't fit any profile," Ross said of the latest tragedy.