41 fatalities in New York City; number expected to rise

November 5, 2012 5:17:37 AM PST
A 23-year-old New Yorker was killed after stepping in a puddle near a live electric wire. An off-duty policeman drowned in his flooded basement after ushering relatives to safety in his attic.

Superstorm Sandy whipped up winds and floodwater that left at least 41 people dead, according to the New York Police Department. Some of the victims made the mistake of going outside; others thought they were safe staying at home.

Among those whose homes became deadly were a 75-year-old Manhattan woman found dead of possible cardiac arrest after power went out Monday evening and switched off her respirator. A 30-year-old man, Anthony Laino, was killed when a tree fell on his house in Queens.

The off-duty police officer, Artur Kasprzak, 28, apparently became trapped in the basement of his flooded Staten Island home.

With flood waters surging into his house, police said Kasprzak shepherded six adults and a baby to the attic at about 7 p.m. Monday. He then went downstairs to check the basement, but never returned.

Police officers eventually located his body in the basement 12 hours later. The six year veteran was assigned to the 1st Precinct in Manhattan.

Lauren Abraham was pronounced dead in front of her Queens home on 134th Street Monday night after she was electrocuted by the live wire.

The megastorm caused 13-foot storm surges in Manhattan, wiping out power to roughly 700,000 citywide and knocking down trees.

A man and a 24-year-old woman in Brooklyn were crushed by a falling tree and found dead Tuesday morning.

Henry Sullivan, 57, was found in his flooded home in the hard-hit Rockaway Peninsula of Queens. Police said he was discovered after they responded to a call of a possible drowning at his Beach 136 Street residence. Another victim of a residential drowning was 67-year-old Rick Gold, who lived nearby at Beach 133 Street. He was found in the basement of his home.

An 80-year-old woman, Beatris Spanola, was found dead floating in water of her flooded Staten Island home.

Details of many deaths remained unclear. A 13-year-old girl was found dead on the lawn of a home on Staten Island late Monday, and a 46-year-old woman believed to be her mother was in critical condition. A man believed to be the girl's father was still missing.

A 55-year-old man was found dead Tuesday morning in lower Manhattan possibly after rushing floodwater pushed him into the wall of a building.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Sandy "a devastating storm, maybe the worst that we have ever experienced." He gave no firm timeline on when the city's basic services would be restored.


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