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A 19-year-old man jumped to his death on Saturday, February 1, from the Vessel in New York’s Hudson Yards, police say.
The tragedy occurred around 6pm, to the shock of hundreds of witnesses. Police immediately closed the 150-foot-tall structure to visitors, 30 minutes before its usual closing time. It reopened on Sunday morning.
According to reports, Vessel visitors reacted with screams of horror after realizing what had occurred. One man ran up to the young victim and covered his face with a jacket, according to witnesses.
“Some people had tears in their eyes,” one witness told the New York Post. “My daughter and I went over to the side and said a prayer for him.”
The victim, whose name has not been officially released (the New York Times reports that the victim is believed to be a student at Sacred Heart University) was announced dead at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan.
Kathleen Corless, a spokeswoman for Hudson Yards, said in a statement, “Our deepest sympathies are with the family of the person who lost their life last evening. We have no further comment at this time.”
In a 2016 review of the Vessel, Audrey Wachs, the former associate editor of the Architect’s Newspaper, criticized the Vessel’s designer, Thomas Heatherwick, for “not learn[ing]” from past suicides from city bridges and tall buildings. She advised, “As one climbs up Vessel, the railings stay just above waist height all the way up to the structure’s top, but when you build high, folks will jump.”
According to the Times, the Vessel has taken no special security measures since it reopened on Sunday, but guards said they were trained to look out for possible suicide attempts.