8-Year-Old Girl Dies After Marble Handrail Falls on Her in New York City: 'Such a Happy Child'

·2 min read
marble handrail
marble handrail


An 8-year-old girl died on Monday after a marble handrail collapsed on top of her, the New York Police Department confirms to PEOPLE.

The department says the accident occurred at a residence in the Westchester Square neighborhood of the Bronx. Officers arrived around 8 p.m. local time and found the girl with trauma to her head, authorities say.

She was transported to NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi Medical Center in the nearby neighborhood Morris Park, where she was later pronounced dead, according to the NYPD.

A preliminary investigation found the girl suffered extensive injuries when a "marble handrail became detached from the front of a house" and fell on top of her, NYPD Detective Sophia Mason tells PEOPLE.

"All we heard was commotion," neighbor Sergio Valentin told the New York Post of the tragedy. "My neighbor called and asked if my kid was over there playing. He wasn't, but we ran over to see what happened."

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"She was already on the ground, and there was mad blood all around her," Valentin said of the girl, identified by the outlet as Fatima Jannat Chowdhury. "The ambulance came and worked on her, but she had already lost a lot of blood. She wasn't moving at all."

Images published by the Post and other outlets showed a trail of blood in front of the house. Large, broken pieces of the handrail were also shown scattered to the side of the porch.

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"She was such a happy child," Barbara Odai, a neighbor, told the Post. "I cannot imagine what the parents are going through."

Relatives told the outlet that Fatima had been trying to squeeze through the handrail when it collapsed. Her mother was inside the house cooking at the time of the accident, they said.

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The family began renting the home this year, they told the Post. Attempts by PEOPLE to locate the landlord's contact information were unsuccessful.

Public records from the NYC Department of Buildings show several complaints made about the property since 2016.

Earlier this year, seven students died in Bolivia when a metal railing broke on the fourth floor of a building at their university.

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