An Empire State Building fall was survived by a man after he seemingly jumped from the 86th floor… and landed on the 85th floor.
The man was talked down from the edge of the skyscraper‘s observation deck by security guards just before midnight on Wednesday.
A number of tourists saw the man, who had already fallen one story from the observation deck, swing his legs into the air as if he meant to drop again.
The Empire State Building fall was witnessed by an Argentinian couple, Luis Ariel Jofre and Julieta Paola Barambones. Speaking about their experience to The New York Daily Post, 29-year-old Mr. Jofre said:
“He was in his own world, like he was lost. He was calm looking down, like it was nothing, but it was 80 stories high.”
However, security guards intervened just in time, calmly talking the man away from the edge. He was immediately taken to hospital with a broken ankle suffered during his fall. He will now face a trespassing charge.
Jofre added, “We’re relieved that he didn’t die.”
Over the years, more than thirty people have jumped from the Empire State Building. The first suicide occurred before the iconic building’s completion, by a worker who had been laid off. A fence was put up around the observatory terrace in 1947 after five people tried to jump during a three-week span.
On May 1, 1947, 23-year-old Evelyn McHale jumped to her death from the 86th floor observation deck, landing on a United Nations limousine that was parked at the curb. A famous image of her body was snapped by photography student Robert Wiles.
There have also been other Empire State Building fall survivors. In December 1979, Elvita Adams jumped from the 86th floor, only to be blown back onto the 85th floor by a gust of wind. She left with a broken hip.
[Top image via Shutterstock.com]