At a Midtown Intersection, Another Sheet of Glass Falls

If the sound of the 1,500-pound glass panel that plummeted from a tower onto the covered sidewalk shed sounded familiar to anyone near 42nd Street and Avenue of the Americas on Tuesday morning, there was good reason — it was the second time in recent months that a sheet of glass had dropped onto that intersection.

At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, the floor-to-ceiling-size glass panel, encased in a metal frame, fell more than 50 stories from the Bank of America building and shattered on a shed on the opposite side of 42nd Street, officials said.

Two people, whose names were not released, suffered minor injuries. One man was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center complaining of an injured leg, Fire Department officials said, and another person was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center with injuries that were not disclosed.

James Dean, 47, who had been in the park near the library when the glass panel fell, said: ”I thought it was an explosion,” adding, “It sounded like steel, not glass, hitting the ground.”

“I walked out onto the street and saw chunks of glass as far in as the newsstand, chunks of glass the size of my fist,” he said.

A mason at the Bank of America building, who gave only his first name, Dave, said he was under the street-level scaffolding when the glass hit. “I heard it raining down,” he said. “I didn’t know what it was.”

Richard M. Kielar, a spokesman for Tishman Construction, the construction manager for the project, said the panel, which had been stored on the 51st floor of the building, fell when it was in the process of being put into place with a winch. “It was being taken off the building and being lowered into position,” he said. A window on a floor in the low 40s was broken, but it was not immediately clear whether it was from the falling panel or debris, he said.

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600450 At a Midtown Intersection, Another Sheet of Glass Falls
Date: 13 August 2008

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