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Manhattan’s Vessel Closes Indefinitely Due to String of Suicides

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Administrators of a towering New York City tourist attraction closed the structure until further notice this week following various suicides at the site

What We Know:

  • The Vessel, the intriguing spiraling staircase at Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s Far West Side, was closed to guests on Tuesday, one day after a 21-year-old man jumped to his death, the third suicide in less than a year.
  • The chairman of the local community board, Lowell Kern, said in an interview on Tuesday that a Related Companies spokesperson had called him shortly after the suicide on Monday and had stated the Vessel would remain closed “until further notice”. As of Wednesday night, the structure is listed as “currently closed” on its website. Kern also stated the developer had indicated that it would display the precautionary steps it had designed to take to the board before reopening the structure to guests.
  • The closing occurred as the police identified the man who killed himself on Monday morning as Franklin Washington of San Antonio. His death comes weeks after a 24-year-old Brooklyn woman took her own life by jumping from the Vessel on Dec. 21.
  • Last February, a 19-year-old New Jersey man also jumped from the Vessel, the first suicide at the location, with witnesses describing hearing screaming as observers realized what had happened.
  • Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio created the Vessel. The creators describe the Vessel as an interactive artwork with 154 intertwined flights of stairs, almost 2,500 individual steps, and 80 landings. Visitors are prompted to climb it to experience New York and the Hudson River’s extensive views.
  • Kern expressed in a letter that he understood there was skepticism in modifying what is deemed a work of art, but that should not be a preference now. “After three suicides, at what point does the artistic vision take a back seat to safety?”
  • In the New York area, the George Washington Bridge has typically attracted more suicide attempts than other bridges or sites. From 2015 to 2017, there were 15 suicides a year at the bridge. In 2017, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey moved to address the problem by installing an 11-foot-high fence that connected to a canopy of netting over a pedestrian walkway.

If you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts, please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741, or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.

The post Manhattan’s Vessel Closes Indefinitely Due to String of Suicides appeared first on Black News Alerts.

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