THE mother of an 11-year-old girl who was injured when a piece of ceiling from a building fell on her, is calling for answers as to why the building was not repaired when the need for such action was brought to the attention of Housing Development Corporation (HDC) officials, weeks before the accident happened.
Speaking with Newsday on Monday, Amanda Baptiste said her daughter Tashanna was injured when a piece of the ceiling fell on her head last Wednesday, at Building 11 Maloney Gardens. Five days later, the child's head has to still be heavily bandaged.
Baptiste said part of the ceiling was damaged and despite residents' repeated complaints to HDC officials to have it repaired, they were ignored.
"She was going up the stairs to get something to me. She was with a friend who tried to warn her that the ceiling was falling but it already fell on her head.
"We took her to the hospital and she had to get five stitches. Now she can't do online classes because she is getting headaches while sitting in front of the computer screen and has back pains.
"A lot of tenants have complained to the HDC at their office because there are other parts of the building that keep falling down and it's shaking badly." The woman said since the accident, she was told officials from the HDC visited her apartment but she was not at home and is calling on the corporation to repair damaged structures to avoid future accidents.
"I would like them (the HDC) to come and see what's going on. We are poor people and we need assistance in repairing these areas," Baptiste said.
Contacted for comment, an HDC official said the accident was "unfortunate" and added that officers have visited the family to extend support.
"Since the incident was reported, an officer from our Social and Community Services Department visited the family on two occasions: first to interview the young resident and her mother and provide the necessary psycho-social support and on the second occasion, as a follow-up.
"Employees from our Maloney Area Office have also visited the site to conduct a preliminary investigation. The HDC has also been made aware of a tenant's action which may have aided in the further deterioration of that portion of the aged infrastructure. As such, a more thorough examination of the structure is now being undertaken," said the official who asked not to be identified.