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Ceiling Collapse In Bronx Public Housing Leaves Toddler Covered In Debris, Family Furious

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A pesky leak led to a ceiling collapse in a Bronx apartment. It happened in the same room where a toddler was playing.

"With the new baby, and this is what happened. We were standing right there," Elizabeth Villegas said.

Cell phone video captured a dumbfounded 2-year-old covered in debris, after a portion of the ceiling in her apartment collapsed -- leaving behind a gaping hole.

"It was just terrible. It looked like a tornado went in the room completely. Just everything messed up, dust everywhere," she said.

Villegas is the girl's mother and said her family has had a problem with a leaky ceiling in several rooms for the last two years at the Sack Wren Houses in the Soundview section of the Bronx.

She said despite their ongoing complaints, nothing was ever repaired, and Thursday evening, the ceiling gave way just inches from where the toddler was playing.

"I was just glad that she didn't get hit. That's the ceiling, pipes, everything rubble," she said.

As CBS2's Valerie Castro reported, the rambunctious girl is back to her usual self, and amazingly wasn't injured.

The New York City Housing Authority brought in crews to make the repairs and Friday night, they were still working to replaster the ceiling.

Villegas said it's too little, too late for her and her neighbors.

"But it's not only this apartment, go upstairs and it's that lady's apartment, go to my neighbor, his apartment," she said. "It's going to take for my daughter to get hit for somebody to say 'I'm sorry' and that's ridiculous."

Despite the repairs made on Friday, the family said they aren't sure if they'll spend the night in the apartment out of fear that something else might fall.

The New York City Housing Authority issued a statement saying, "this incident was absolutely inexcusable and we are deeply sorry for the impact it has had on the family."


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