Man Hit by Falling Fire Escape Step in Manhattan Dies

What to Know

  • A man was hit by a falling fire escape step in Soho on Friday
  • The 58-year-old died from head injuries at a hospital this weekend
  • A 24-year-old woman who was also injured is recovering

A man has died a day after he was struck by a falling piece of fire escape in Manhattan. 

Richard Marchhart, 58, died at a hospital Saturday from a skull fracture he sustained when he was hit by the debris Friday.

Police say Marchhart, of Garden City, New York, was walking on Broadway in Soho when he was hit by the fire escape step.

Officials say a worker was inspecting the fire escape on a ladder when the step broke off and plunged seven stories, hitting the man on the head. 

A 24-year-old woman who also was hit by the debris was hospitalized in stable condition.

Police and the city Buildings Department are investigating.

According to the Department of Buildings, the Façade Inspection Report for that building was last submitted in 2013 and the building's exterior was deemed safe as long as periodic maintenance is performed.

The 2013 report found that the fire escape had no unsafe conditions, according to the Department of Buildings.

The building's owners were issued permits to repair the exterior in 2014. Along with maintenance work on the building façade itself, the permits indicated that the fire escape had to be repainted and minor spot repairs were to be made if any defects were found underneath the paint. But, according to the Department of Building, these repairs are common for older buildings with fire escapes. This repair project was completed in December 2015.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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