Teenager Dies After Falling Through Roof, Down Elevator Shaft of Shuttered NY Hospital: Police

A teenager died after falling through a roof and plunging down an elevator shaft at a shuttered New York hospital, authorities say.

Police say they were called to the abandoned United Hospital on Boston Post Road in Port Chester around 8:30 Tuesday night and found several teenagers on the roof.

Officers walked to the back of the building, where the group frantically told them their friend, a 14-year-old boy, had fallen through a hole in the roof, officials said.

Port Chester police made their way into the building and guided the teens to safety while other officers attempted to find the boy who had fallen. Police found the boy at the bottom of an elevator shaft nearly two hours later.

"It was a service elevator, we believe, so couldn't be accessed on every floor. They were finally able to gain access from a fourth floor," Police Chief Richard Conway said Wednesday. "The whole problem was getting access to the elevator shaft to a position where they could get to him."

Officials rescued him and took the boy was taken to an area hospital, where he died, authorities said.

The teenager was a ninth-grader in the Port Chester school district, according to the superintendent. Crisis counselors have met with the boy's friends who witnessed the fall, who were also students in the district. 

United Hospital closed down more than 10 years ago. There have been calls over the years to have the abandoned buildings demolished. 

Some of the buildings on the complex are 12-stories high. 

Sandra Deans, who works nearby, said, "I was just telling somebody about this building. It's abandoned so long." 

"Why do they have it just sitting there?" she said. 

Starwood Capital Group, the Connecticut-based investment group that's owned the site since 2006, had been planning to rebuild the site and turn it into a neighborhood with a mix of residential, commercial and office uses. It only received the necessary zoning change to move ahead with its proposal this past spring. 

The company offered its condolences the boys' family's and friends.

"We are fully cooperating with the village's public safety authorities and the mayor's office to provide whatever assistance we can regarding this tragic event," the company said in a statement. 

The investigation is ongoing.

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