A nine-year-old girl fell from the sixth-floor window of a Harlem apartment building Monday evening, and remarkably, came away from the accident with only a broken ankle.
The Daily News reports that the girl—a resident of the Saint Nicholas Houses on West 129th Street, whose name police have not released—was home alone around 5:30 p.m., while her mother picked up the girl's two brothers from school.
The girl was reportedly perched on an air conditioner that suddenly came loose, tumbling out a sixth story window and taking her with it. Luckily, an awning stretched over the day care center below broke her fall. Police say EMS responded and took her to the hospital, where she was treated for a broken ankle. The News reports that the A/C unit, meanwhile, ended up "mangled."
Latifa Shakour, who lives in the building next door and witnessed the fall, told the NY Post that the girl "was screaming 'help me!' when she landed." Another neighbor, Malika Wiggins, said she also heard the girl crying for help, and added that a "loud boom" alerted her to the landing. The girl's mother reportedly ran to the scene and rode with her daughter (who was "alert and conscious") to the hospital.
That shoddily secured A/C units might come loose from their window mounts constitutes a very real fear for New Yorkers, given that these appliances do occasionally come crashing from their moorings. Although falling air conditioners seem only to have killed one person in recent memory, they do sometimes translate to injuries.
We asked NYCHA, which is responsible for inspecting residents' air conditioner installations, for comment on the incident; we'll update if we hear back.