A 20-year-old student has fallen to his death at New York's luxury Four Seasons Hotel when he climbed scaffolding in an attempt to take a selfie and fell nine storeys. Connor Cummings, from Rockaway, New Jersey, was at the hotel near Central Park with a friend when the incident happened at 11.15pm EST (4.15am GMT) on Wednesday, 30 December.
Local police said the scaffolding was wet due to heavy rain. Cummings and his friend were trying to take selfies when apparently slipped as he tried to get back into an interior shaft and fell to the catwalk. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The other young man, named as Dimitri Olivares, 18, climbed down and reportedly ran away before having a change of heart and returning to the scene to get help. He was released after questioning.
The two are not thought to have been staying at the hotel. Police said they were trespassing.
In a statement Four Seasons hotel spokeswoman Paula Dirks said: "The safety and security of our guests, patrons and employees is a top priority for us. As this incident is currently under investigation, all inquiries are best directed to local police. Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased and we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to them."
Cummings was a student at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst). His aunt Kate Gentile told local news channel ABC7: "We're trying to get answers. They say that he went up the elevator, and then went up a stairway, and then went out on a balcony, but the cops aren't saying exactly what happened. And, I know the medical examiner was up there. I mean, he's a young kid, he's a good kid, they weren't drinking or anything, they were taking a picture."
If confirmed this would be the latest death as a result of people trying to take selfies in hazardous locations. On Christmas Day, 33-year-old Joshua Burwell fell from cliffs in San Diego as he attempted to take a selfie. Other deaths have been reported in Russia, India and Mexico.