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'A scream and a splat' heard in possible Manhattan suicide attempt

A man plummeted several stories after leaping from a staircase inside the Oculus transportation center.
Onlookers in the Oculus were shocked to see a middle-aged man fall several stories to the floor. (Photo by Joe Hunt via Flickr)
Onlookers in the Oculus were shocked to see a middle-aged man fall several stories to the floor. (Photo by Joe Hunt via Flickr)

A man plummeted from a 50-foot balcony Tuesday in what may have been the first suicide attempt seen at the Oculus transportation center.

“There was a scream and a splat and a body,” recalled Wilson Spencer, speaking to the New York Daily News about the horrifying incident. Spencer, a sales employee who was working in the Oculus at the time, says he cannot unhear the sound of the jumper’s body hitting the floor, which he likened to “a wet beanbag.”

Authorities say the man, only described as being in his 40s, was standing at the east staircase when he leapt, tumbling three stories to the ground. By 12:15 p.m., he was rushed by ambulance to NYC Heath + Hospitals/Bellevue where his condition was listed as critical, CBSNewYork reported.

The Oculus opened in Lower Manhattan just last year, but this incident wasn’t the first time a person has fallen there. Last February, 29-year-old Jenny Santos accidentally fell to her death from an escalator while trying to grab a hat her sister had lost.