NYU Student Gets Trapped Between Dorm, Adjacent Building

By Shimon Prokupecz and Brynn Gingras
|  Monday, Nov 4, 2013  |  Updated 8:51 PM EDT
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A 19-year-old New York University student who went missing over the weekend was found trapped in a narrow gap between a dorm and a neighboring parking garage in lower Manhattan, where rescuers had to break through a wall Sunday night to free him. Gus Rosendale has the story.

NBC 4 New York

A 19-year-old New York University student who went missing over the weekend was found trapped in a narrow gap between a dorm and a neighboring parking garage in lower Manhattan, where rescuers had to break through a wall Sunday night to free him. Gus Rosendale has the story.

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Teen Trapped Between Buildings for Hours

A 19-year-old NYU student was rescued Sunday night after getting stuck in a narrow space between a dorm and a neighboring parking garage in lower Manhattan. Brynn Gingras reports.
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A 19-year-old New York University student who went missing over the weekend was found trapped in a narrow gap between a dorm and a neighboring parking garage in lower Manhattan, where rescuers had to break through a wall Sunday night to free him.

Firefighters pulled Asher Vongtau from the space between the 17-story NYU dorm at 80 Lafayette St. and the neighboring 5-story building, officials said. An FDNY official said the space was between 18 inches to 2 feet wide.

It took firefighters about 90 minutes to break through a wall in the garage and free Vongtau, said Fire Chief Joseph Schiralli. 

"He was conscious, he was moving, he was definitely tired," Schiralli.

NYU spokesman John Beckman said in a statement Monday that the school had been searching for Vongtau since students reported him missing early Sunday. The search had included looking for him in local emergency rooms and tracking where his NYU ID had last been used. 

After hours of searching, an NYU security worker looked in the space between the dorm and the garage and found Vongtau, conscious and moaning. 

It's not clear how Vongtau became trapped there, officials said, though it was possible he had fallen out of a window or from the roof of one of the buildings. 

Authorities said he was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition. As he continued to recover, his condition was upgraded to fair on Monday, the hospital said.

Beckman said the school is "very glad to say the least that student was found and rescued."

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