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CBS2 Exclusive: Metal From MTA Work Site Crashes Into Window Of Queens Office

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A chunk of metal crashed through a glass window of an office in Queens.

CBS2's Dave Carlin heard exclusively from the man who was working inside.

"It came from the window... through the blinds, and then landed around over here," Michael Siegel said.

He felt glass shards hit his face as the rusty hunk of metal shot through his office window Friday morning in Jackson Heights.

"A shot, like a rifle shot. That's what I thought it was," he said. "If I was standing on the other the side of the desk, or even sitting down, that thing would've hit my head, and I would have been killed."

Siegel, who runs a law practice out of his office, said it was easy to put two and two together.

Across from his window that morning, and for days leading up to this, workers were making repairs to the transit infrastructure, Carlin reported. The first few workers he questioned denied the projectile came from their site. Then, he said another worker confessed to the accident and gave him an explanation.

"They use a high-powered device to shoot the rivets out. Now, there's supposed to be another worker on the other end of the rivet to catch the rivet. He said they're called a muffler. I guess like a baseball catcher would catch a fastball. Except in this case, there was no catcher at the other side," said Siegel.

CBS2 asked the MTA about safety protocols and why, in this case, they apparently failed. The agency said it's looking into it.

Siegel said he didn't cave to workers' pressure to hand over the rivet, and he's angry the window wasn't repaired the same day. He said he lost work on Friday, lost sleep that night and it's likely he'll file a lawsuit.

He used to like the view from his desk, watching the trains on the tracks elevated over Roosevelt Avenue. But not anymore.

"My main concern is I just don't want this to happen again. I mean I have a wife and two children to take care of," he said.

Siegel also said there should be extra netting or some improved, sturdy barrier when this kind of work is done so rivets can't go rogue.

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