A stagehand has died after falling from scaffolding inside a Broadway theater.
The 54-year-old man fell 50 feet while working at the Winter Garden Theatre on 7th Avenue, near West 50th Street, in Manhattan, at around 8:48 am this morning.
The victim has not yet been identified, but a spokesperson for the New York Police Department confirmed the man had been taking down props from the production of Beetlejuice when he fell from a ladder.
He had reportedly been working to help overhaul the stage in preparation for the theater’s next show, The Music Man, which will feature Hugh Jackman.
It’s unclear why the maintenance was being carried out. Theaters across New York City have been shuttered since March 12 amid the on-going coronavirus pandemic and shows aren’t scheduled to resume until at least May next year.
The 54-year-old man fell 50 feet while working at the Winter Garden Theatre on 7th Avenue near West 50th Street, in Manhattan, at around 9:40 am this morning (file photo)
He had reportedly been working to help overhaul the stage (shown above) in preparation for the theater’s next show, The Music Man, which will feature Hugh Jackman
The Shubert Organization, who own the Winter Garden Theater, have not yet responded to a DailyMail.com request for comment on the matter.
In a separate statement, the group said: ‘We mourn the loss of our valued colleague. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family during this difficult time.’
A theater porter named Mike told the NY Post he was inside the building when the tragic incident occurred.
‘I was cleaning up under the stage when I heard a loud noise,’ the 38-year-old told the outlet. ‘It was right above me. It sounded like a bomb. It scared me. I ran up the steps to what it was.’
Mike said he arrived to find the victim lying lifeless on his back.
‘I said, “Oh my God!” My heart started pounding. He was on his back. He had one shoe on. He wasn’t wearing a helmet. I don’t know if it came off when he fell,’ Mike said. ‘Stagehands always wear helmets.’
The startled witness said it appeared as though the stagehand had cracked the back of his head open.
‘There was a lot of blood on the stage,’ Mike said.
The victim has not yet been identified, but a spokesperson for the New York Police Department confirmed had been taking down props from the production of Beetlejuice when he fell.
The 54-year-old was taken to the St Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center, but died shortly after arriving, authorities said.
NYPD spokesperson, Sergeant Edward Riley, told DailyMail.com that the man was found lying on the floor with ‘injuries consistent with a fall from an elevated height.
‘Preliminary investigation has determined that the victim fell from a ladder while performing routine maintenance. No criminality suspected at this time.’
Riley said the identity of the victim is behind withheld until his next of kin has been informed.
All Broadway theaters closed in the Big Apple in March as the coronavirus pandemic began ravaging across the US. New York City quickly became the US epicentre of the deadly virus.
Broadway’s doors are slated to remain closed until at least May 2021.