MIDTOWN — A shattered window in a Midtown high-rise rained glass onto the street below, striking a North Carolina woman in the head and cutting the ankle of an NYPD employee, sources said.
A construction worker on a scaffold lost his balance on the 18th floor of 40 West 57th St., and slammed a mobile scaffolding into the 12-by-8 foot sheet of glass about 8:30 a.m., raining sharp shards onto the pedestrians below, said FDNY battalion chief Tom Meara and a Department of Buildings spokesman.
"A lady was passing by. She wasn't looking. Then, 'Bam!' She was surprised. It hit her in the back of the head. Blood was dripping. They took her here and wrapped her head. She was calm though," said a worker at a cafe next door, Mariama Yalloh, 39.
"A third of the window came down about 8:30. Then the rest broke about 8:45. Big chunks were coming down. They were like a foot long," said Mike Galvin, a doorman across the street.
The pieces of glass that fell were "pretty thick" and "pretty substantial," Meara said.
The woman, who sources said is 60 and from Wilmington, N.C., received a minor cut to her head and was taken to St. Luke's hospital along with a 27-year-old worker who bumped into the glass and hurt his leg, officials said.
The other passerby, a civilian employee of the NYPD, refused medical attention at the scene, sources said.
The worker suffered lacerations to his back, according to the NYPD and DOB.
Fire crews had to break more of the glass and pull it back into the building so that it didn't fall and hurt more people, Meara added.
"We are continuing to investigate the situation and are cooperating fully with the authorities," LeFrak said in a statement.
Both the NYPD and Department of Buildings were investigating, spokesmen said.
57th Street was closed to vehicular traffic in both directions, but pedestrian traffic opened up on the north side of the street, across from the shattered glass.
LeFrak was issued a violation by the DOB for failing to safeguard the site.