8-year-old hospitalized by falling debris from Queens construction site

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Stacey Sager reports on an 8-year-old girl who was rushed to a hospital after being struck by falling debris from a Queens construction site. (Melissa Martinez)

An 8-year-old girl was rushed to the hospital after she was struck in the head by falling debris from a Queens construction site, officials said.

The girl was struck when a wood plank -- bigger than her -- fell from a building on 35th Avenue between 83rd and 84th Streets in Jackson Heights just after 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Officials said construction workers were lowering the plywood from a fire escape to the ground using rope. The piece of plywood slipped off the rope and fell from the third-floor level.
The girl is conscious and stable with a laceration to the head. She was taken to the hospital and has since been released.

The wood plank that fell from a Jackson Heights building and hit an 8-year-old girl in the head.

Olga Piedrahita, the girl's mother, said they were on their way to the park.

Speaking to Eyewitness News, Piedrahita said she realized how lucky they are - her 3-year-old son was only inches behind the falling plywood.

Melissa Martinez, the neighbor who called 911, saw the incident unfold.

"I heard a boom. I look out the window. The little girl was just bleeding out of her head, crying, screaming," she said.

The Department of Buildings has issued a full stop work order at the property.

The DOB has also issued three violations at the property. They are for: failure to safeguard a construction site, performing construction work that does not conform to permitted plans, and performing unpermitted construction work.

Piedrahita said she's furious about the way her daughter was injured.

"There's no ropes, no signs, nothing. Nothing," she said.

An investigation is ongoing.
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