HELL'S KITCHEN — A man died when he tried to jump between two five-story buildings on West 45th street, officials said.
The 21-year-old had been drinking at a local bar late Tuesday before he went onto the rooftop of 359 West 45th street, near Ninth Avenue, officials said.
Once on the roof, he tried to cross over the air shaft between the five-story building and the adjacent one at 357 W 45th street. Deputy Inspector John Hart said he appeared to have tried to use a canvas bag to help him in the leap, though it's not known how.
Pieces of the bag were found on the rooftop and in the man's hands, Hart said.
The man plummeted down the air shaft, which is located at the back of the buildings, and was pronounced dead at the scene when he was found at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to the NYPD.
The police recovered a Czech Republic passport on him and he had keys to a nearby apartment, but it was unclear if he lived in the U.S. or was visiting.
His identity was withheld by authorities pending family notification.
Pedro Sosa, a 44-year-old worker, was getting ready to sand the floor of a two-bedroom apartment on the second floor of 359 W. 45th St. when he saw the body.
"I open the window and I see him. For a second, I thought he was a toy, he was swollen. But then I saw big flies on his head, " Sosa said. "I was nervous when I realized he was a dead man, first time I see one."
The man, who was wearing jeans, had a lot of dust on him, said Sosa who was standing approximately 10 feet from him. There was also a blue baseball cap lying next to him, the worker said.
"He wasn't a tenant in any of my buildings, but it's still sad," said Carl David, the super of the buildings at 357, 355, 353 and 351 on West 45th street.
"It's crazy, life is short, you have to cherish every day you have," David said.