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New York City's Vessel Closed Indefinitely After 14-Year-Old Boy Dies by Apparent Suicide

·2-min read
U.S.- NEW YORK-HUDSON YARDS-VESSEL
U.S.- NEW YORK-HUDSON YARDS-VESSEL

Xinhua/Wang Ying/Getty

After the fourth death by suicide at the Vessel sculpture located in New York City's Hudson Yards, the developer behind the attraction is reportedly considering closing it for good.

Stephen Ross, chairman of the Related Companies, which is behind Hudson Yards, told The Daily Beast that the latest tragedy has has the firm considering closing the art installation permanently. The Vessel opened in March 2019 and has since been the site of four deaths by suicide, most recently on Thursday afternoon.

At about 1 p.m. on Thursday, a 14-year-old boy jumped from the structure and was pronounced dead at the scene, a spokesperson for the New York Police Department confirms to PEOPLE. The cause of death and investigation is ongoing, but first responders found the victim with injuries indicative of a fall from an elevated position.

Kimberly Winston, a spokesperson for Hudson Yards, tells PEOPLE that the Vessel is now closed indefinitely, adding in a statement, "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."

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

"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," Ross told the Daily Beast, adding that the victim was visiting the installation with four family members.

However, Lowell Kern, chair of Manhattan Community Board 4, told the outlet that Related Companies "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."

In January, a 21-year-old man from San Antonio, Texas, died by suicide at the location. Prior to that, a 24-year-old Brooklyn woman jumped from the Vessel on Dec. 21, which was also site of the suicide of a 19-year-old college student from New Jersey in February 2020.

A spokesperson for Related Companies told The New York Times that the Vessel was temporarily closed in January so the developer could consult suicide-prevention experts, including psychiatrists, about how to best limit the potential for suicides.

At the time, a Related spokesperson also told the New York Post that the company hired more security workers who are specially trained in spotting and helping people who pose a risk of jumping.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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