Trigger warning: suicide
After a 14-year-old boy leapt to his death on Thursday a popular tourist attraction, The Vessel may shut down for good.
Police say the teen jumped, (while his loved ones apparently watched) from the eighth story of the Vessel sculpture in NYC’s Hudson Yards shortly before 1PM. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene, police told the New York Daily News.
Stephen Ross, the billionaire chairman of The Related Companies, the global real-estate firm that is behind Hudson Yards, says the development’s marquee art installation might close for good following the latest suicide. Ross told The Daily Beast.
“We thought we did everything that would really prevent this.
It’s hard to really fathom how something like that could happen. But you know, I feel terrible for the family.”
Lowell Kern, chair of Manhattan Community Board 4, which includes Hudson Yards, says that Related could have done more.
“For Related to claim they did everything possible here is just not true.
They could have raised the height of the barriers, and that would have prevented this tragedy. For reasons unknown to us they decided not to do that.”
The teen is the fourth person to take their own life at the structure since it opened in March 2019.
Within less than a year, a 19-year-old New Jersey man plunged to his death from the top of the structure in front of a crowd of tourists. Two more suicides soon followed, one in late 2020 and another in January 2021.
The structure was consequently shuttered before reopening this spring with several new rules in place meant to prevent any further suicides. In addition to additional security staff, Hudson Yards developer Related touted
“enhanced guest engagement and screening procedures to detect high-risk behaviors”
Visitors were also required to come in groups of at least two, a move which Related said
“significantly enhances the safety of the experience.”
Ross said the teen was visiting with four other members of his family.
“A family of five doesn’t fit any profile.”
Apokeswoman Kimberly Winston said,
“We are heartbroken by this tragedy and our thoughts are with the family of the young person who lost their life. We are conducting a full investigation.”
Ross says that the installation will be temporarily closed while his team considers whether to open it again long-term.