A Fordham University senior who was climbing up the campus' iconic bell tower fell to her death in a tragic accident early Sunday morning.
Sydney Monfries, 22, fell through an opening in a stairway landing at Keating Hall and plummeted down the inside of the clock and bell tower, according to the New York City Police Department. The fall was about 30 feet, school officials said. Monfries was found critically injured and later died.
The tower on the Bronx, New York, campus is off-limits to students and locked at night, according to the university. It was locked before Monfries and her friends entered the the building, the university confirms.
“There are no words sufficient to describe the loss of someone so young and full of promise — and mere weeks from graduation,” university president Rev. Joseph M. McShane said in a statement.
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Fordham University's student newspaper, The Observer, reported that climbing the tower is a kind of "rite of passage" before graduation.
Monfries posted video from the top of the tower early Sunday with the caption "Bell tower," The New York Times reports.
McShane said Monfries' bachelor’s degree will be presented to her parents.
Authorities are investigating how Monfries gained access to the tower, which contains a clock and tank for firefighting water. There is no bell in the tower. Ringing comes from a recording.
BREAKING: Fordham university student Sydney Monfries, 22, dies after fall from school's iconic clock tower, university president says.— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) April 14, 2019
Officials are investigating how the student gained access to the tower, which is normally locked. - WNBC pic.twitter.com/8p9ykvQshU
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New York college student dies after falling from clock tower weeks before graduating