A security guard at the World Trade Center Oculus in Lower Manhattan didn’t assist a woman who fell to her death moments later while trying to retrieve her twin sister’s hat, the New York Daily News reported.
Jenny Santos, 29, who was on her way to catch a train back to Kearny, New Jersey, with her sister, approached a guard at the transit hub around 5:30 a.m. on Saturday and asked him to help get her sister’s hat, which had fallen to the edge of the escalator, sources told the paper.
The unidentified guard, who is employed by privately run Allied Universal, reportedly told the New Jersey woman he could not leave his post.
Santos then tried to reach the hat on her own, but lost her balance and fell 34 feet onto the hub’s marble floor. She had a blood-alcohol content of 0.167, which is more than twice the legal limit to drive.
Officials said she was seen in surveillance footage goofing around and pretending to be a superhero as she was reaching for the hat before she lost her balance.
Safety expert Patrick Carrajat, who penned “The History of the Elevator Industry in America,” told the Daily News Santos’ death could have been prevented if the Port Authority, which manages Oculus, installed an 18-inch-wide handrail on the escalator.
The escalators at the hub are currently not in violation of any safety codes, and the extra handrails “are not common,” Carrajat said. “In retrospect, should they have done it? Yes.”