More falling ice prompts street closures in Manhattan

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Falling ice from buildings continues to post a danger around New York City, and police had closed off several streets in Midtown Manhattan.

Eyewitness News is told that all streets have reopened, but for a time, the entire length of Central Park South was closed from Columbus Circle to Fifth Avenue.

Sixth Avenue was closed between West 57th Street and Central Park South, and West 58th Street was closed between Seventh and Eighth avenues for ice that has been falling since Wednesday.

"Pretty scary," pedestrian Brian Meisen said. "We just missed it."

There were also reports of falling ice closing local streets around Grand Central Terminal.

Eyewitness News' cameras were rolling in Midtown Sunday as the temperatures warmed up and ice came crashing down.

Big, manhole-sized chunks of ice were falling from several high rise buildings, some of them as high as 80 stories tall, and as Eyewitness News Reporter Cefaan Kim reported on the falling ice, more began to falling around him.

He and his photographer were safe, but parents were shielding their children from danger as the ice rained down from above.

"I head a loud bang, and then all of a sudden I hear ice crashing onto the floor like two feet from where I was standing to my right side," Jennifer Meinsen said. "So it was really scary."

Doorman Nick Vino said ice came crashing through the double-paned atrium of his building, smashing into the lobby.

"For the residents here, it's a mess, it's a nightmare," he said. "This is home. They can't come home."

Some tourists were left with no choice but to sprint across to their hotel. Others used umbrellas for protection.

The closures also affect the sidewalks. It's unclear how long they will remain in place.

Police have taken extra precautions since Tuesday, when falling debris killed 60-year-old Erica Tishman as she walked on 49th Street near 7th Avenue.

The Department of Buildings reminded all builders, contractors, and property owners to secure their properties from hazardous conditions during melting snow and ice conditions.

A 55-year-old man sustained minor cuts to the nose and lips when he was struck by falling ice at West 58th Street and Seventh Avenue Wednesday morning.

The buildings department has issued violations to two construction sites and also issued a Partial Stop Work Order preventing all work on the exterior or perimeter of the buildings, other than the work to remove the snow and ice.

"Building owners and general contractors have a legal responsibility to keep their properties safe for the public, which includes taking steps to prevent ice and snow on their properties from posing a falling hazard," the DOB said in a statement.

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