By: Serach Nissim
The Vessel at Hudson Yards has been closed again after a 14-year-old boy died reportedly by suicide at the 150-foot structure. This marks the fourth suicide at the site, which has already undergone closures and made changes which were supposed to help prevent any further incidents.
As reported by Fox New, the boy jumped from the eighth story of the structure just before 1 p.m. on Thursday and was pronounced dead at the scene. His horrified family was with him at the scene and had witnessed the tragedy.
At the end of May, the Vessel was reopened after four months of closure due to three previous suicides. The developer, Related Companies, put in place several measures to reduce the risk of suicides. Security was tripled, and visitors are no longer allowed to walk up the maze of staircases alone, but only in groups. Staff members were also trained to lookout for troubling behavior and signs were put up from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to discourage suicides. Security experts had also pushed to raise the height of security barriers along the sculpture’s walkways—but this had not been implemented. “The only way to prevent future tragedies is to raise the height of the barriers,” Lowell D. Kern, the chairman of the local community board, had told the Times in May. “I understand that the Vessel is seen as a work of art and architecture, and there’s a certain aesthetic involved with that,” Kern added. “But you’re trying to balance an artistic aesthetic versus loss of life, and there’s no choice there.”
The Vessel, first opened in 2019 by Related as the tourist centerpiece for its multi-building construction, offers a labyrinth of stairs good for exercise as well as views of New York City and the Hudson River. Billionaire developer Stephen Ross is now reportedly considering permanently shuttering the tourist hotspot. “It’s hard to really fathom how something like that could happen.” Ross told NBC News in a statement. “But I feel terrible for the family,” he said. “I want to explore every feasible possibility we can, but for now the Vessel is closed.”
Kimberly Winston, spokeswoman for the Hudson Yards, said the death was under investigation and confirmed that the Vessel is now closed. “We are heartbroken by this tragedy and our thoughts are with the family of the young person who lost their life,” Winston said.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help. Call 1-800-273-8255, or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line).