Man clambering onto balcony falls 8 floors to death


A man in his 20s slipped from a balcony and plunged eight floors to his death last night at the George B. Murphy Homes housing project in West Baltimore, city police said.

They said the man, whose identity police withheld because relatives had not been notified, was attempting to climb from an eighth-floor balcony to a ninth-floor balcony at approximately 9 p.m. when he apparently slipped and fell.

He was taken to University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

The concrete balconies on the four 14-story high-rises were linked to another tragedy last year. In June 1989, a 12-year-old was killed when a piece of concrete broke from a balcony and struck him.

An engineering firm that studied the balconies said they were constructed with untreated aluminum, which reacts with concrete and causes cracking and flaking.

Housing officials constructed wooden canopies and metal fencing below the balconies to prevent falling concrete from hitting passers-by.

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