Thursday, December 06, 2007

Man Killed After Falling Off The IDS Tower Identified

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office has identified the man who fell while clearing snow off the glass roof of the IDS Center skyscraper. 52-year-old Fidel Danilo Sanchez-Forez slipped, crashed through the roof, and fell about three stories to his death. Police confirmed Sanchez-Forez, of West St. Paul, worked for Columbia Building Services. "This is clearly an accident," Sgt. Jesse Garcia said. The man was clearing snow off the roof of the Crystal Court shortly before 2:00 p.m. when he fell through the ceiling. Officials said he was wearing a safety harness when he fell. "I was just thinking, I'm going to see this man in his last few seconds that he's alive and I was just hoping he would live through it and then they covered his body with a sheet. Then I knew he was dead," said witness Andrea Bate-Boyle. The 51-story IDS Center overlooks the Crystal Court, which features a 105-foot ceiling-to-floor water fountain and a canopy of glass skylights. The building's Web site says the skylights are 121 feet above ground. Garcia said police cordoned off the lower part of the Crystal Court and were in the process of clearing the skyways entering into the IDS Center. "We don't have to make this a public viewing," he said. The IDS Center has been the site of two suicides in the last 11 years. In 2001, a 30-year-old man jumped from the 51st floor, crashed through the Crystal Court, and landed by a fountain near a restaurant. In 1996, a 32-year-old man knocked out a window in the 30th floor of the IDS Center and jumped headfirst to his death. The IDS tower, a city landmark built in 1972, overlooks the Nicollet Mall, downtown's major shopping area. Scenes from the Crystal Court were featured in the opening segment of the original Mary Tyler Moore show.