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Man injured in fall at World Trade Center Oculus, officials say

A man fell about 25 to 30 feet

A man fell about 25 to 30 feet at the World Trade Center Oculus on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017, suffering serious injuries, the FDNY said. Photo Credit: Alex Bazeley

A man was seriously injured after plunging between 25 and 30 feet from a balcony at the World Trade Center’s Oculus Tuesday afternoon, according to witnesses and an FDNY spokesman.

The man, who is in his 40s, jumped over the railing and plummeted to the ground on the east side of the mall just before 12:05 p.m., according to the Port Authority, which owns and manages the Oculus. 

He was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center in serious condition. The details of his injuries were not immediately available, the FDNY spokesman said.

Rhonda Galvo, who works at London Jewelers in the mall, said she was walking toward the store when she saw the man falling from the balcony above.

“Me and a couple people around me screamed,” Galvo said. “We couldn’t believe what we just saw.”

Galvo said the man landed on his arm.

“It made a huge noise, a thud, loud enough that my co-workers could hear from the back of the store,” she said. “It felt like everything in the building stopped in that moment.”

Investigators stood on the balcony overlooking the floors below following the incident, as some of the man’s personal items lay below.

“I just heard a scream and a splat, and when I turned around there were a bunch of security personnel running toward the man,” said Spencer Russell, 24, who works for a vendor on the first floor of the Oculus. He said that the man lay motionless for about five minutes, until he started to move his legs.

“It seemed very fortunate,” that he lived, Russell added.

Aziz Ahmed, a 35-year-old who works in the Sugarfina on the second floor, said he heard the man hit the ground even though he had his headphones in while listening to music.

“It sounded like a gunshot,” Ahmed said. “A bunch of military people rushed over and crowded around him.”

In February, a 29-year-old woman died after she fell more than 30 feet from an escalator at the Oculus. The woman was trying to retrieve her twin sister’s hat when she fell, according to published reports. 

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