Woman killed on footpath after being struck by debris from 17-storey building

A woman was killed when she was struck by a piece of debris, which broke off and toppled from a building as she walked from her office in New York City.

Erica Tishman, a 60-year-old architect from New York, was walking near famed Time Square when she was struck by the debris when it fell from a 17-storey building, according to the New York Times.

Officials reportedly said the 729 Seventh Avenue building had recently been fined by the city for its “unsafe facade” and the Department of Buildings found cracks in the building’s exterior.

Erica Tishman, an architect from New York, was killed by debris from a building as she was walking from her city office. Source: Zubatkin

Emergency responders were called to the scene moments after Ms Tishman was struck on the head by the debris about 10.45am (local time) on Tuesday, according to police, who also said no one else was injured and it was not clear what exactly hit Ms Tishman.

A NYPD representatives told CBS News Ms Tishman was unconscious and unresponsive when they arrived at the scene and she was later pronounced dead.

A witness told the New York Daily News he watched medics tend to Ms Tishman’s body from a nearby office as passers-by swarmed the footpath.

The witness, Raphael Roston, said, at the time of the horrific accident, Ms Tishman was with a man who had “stopped for a second to buy an umbrella”.

“He was pretty freaked out because he said, ‘That could have been me’," Roston told the New York Daily News.

The property owner of the unsafe building had been ordered by the Department of Buildings to erect a sidewalk shed to protect pedestrians, according to CBS News.

The Department of Buildings had previously found cracks in the facade of 729 Seventh Avenue (pictured) and fined the building's owner. Source: Google Maps

“This is a tragedy, and the family and friends of the victim are in our thoughts. No pedestrian should be at risk from dangerous facade conditions,” a spokesperson, from the DOB, told the US news outlet.

Ms Tishman was the Vice President for real estate firm Zubatkin, which according to its website “has a history of excellence serving the not-for-profit and development communities”.

In 2006, she had her own architecture firm, DeWitt Tishman, which designed the Trump Plaza Residences in Jersey City.

The building began construction in 2006 and construction was completed in 2008.

Ms Tishman graduated from Harvard University’s School of Design and also attended Princeton University.

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