Fordham Student In Serious Condition After Fall From School’s Bell Tower

A Fordham University student was critically injured in a fall from the clock tower in Keating Hall

The journalism student and her friends had just had dinner at a barbecue restaurant and chose to climb the tower as a "rite of passage" before graduating next month, according to staff there.

A senior student at Fordham University in New York died after climbing the university's famed bell tower to take a photo of New York City's skyline.

"There are no words sufficient to describe the loss of someone so young and full of promise - and mere weeks from graduation", McShane said.

The New York Times reports Sydney Monfries, a 22-year-old student at Fordham University, plummeted down the inside of a clock and bell tower early Sunday.

Monfries had been climbing the tower with a group of fellow seniors when she tripped on debris on the tower's spiral staircase and plunged more than 12 metres, reportedly smashing the back of her head open. Another student, Anne, told the New York Post: "I think they were posting on Instagram when it happened".

She was safely returned to the ground after being lifted out of one of the tower's windows and rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where she was placed on life support in an "extremely critical" condition.

Access to the tower is restricted, a university spokeswoman told the Times.

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School spokesman Bob Howe told the New York Post the tower was "always locked" and that the organisation was looking into whether the lock had been tampered with. "Being in that building, there's no sort of methodology or way to have access to that, in my personal opinion.Don't really know how they got up there", Sean Johnson, a student said.

NBC reports that the iconic clock is "off limits" to students.

In a letter to students, Fordham University president Joseph M. McShane said Monfries was weeks from graduating with her bachelor's degree.

Monfries fell over 12m from the bell tower's staircase. "I, personally, never heard about that".

On Sunday night, the university released a statement saying, "Our hearts go out to Sydney's parents, and her family and friends".

Monfries, who was from Portland, Ore., was a senior at Rose Hill due to graduate in May.

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