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US student has fatal fall trying to take photos for Instagram

Newshub logoNewshub 6 days ago Vita Molyneux
a woman wearing a hat © Facebook/ Fordham University, Sydney Monfries.

A US university student has died after falling from a bell tower on her campus.

Sydney Paige Monfries and her friends decided to take photos of the New York skyline from the top of the tower at Fordham University in New York.

At 3am on Sunday, Monfries fell 12 metres to the ground below. 

"I think they were posting on Instagram when it happened," one student told the New York Post.

The 22-year-old was rushed to hospital in an "extremely critical" condition, and died later the same day.

a woman sitting on a bench © Provided by MediaWorks NZ Limited

She suffered severe head injuries and extensive damage to her pelvis and vital organs, reports Yahoo News.

"It is with great sadness I report that Sydney Monfries, a senior at Fordham College at Rose Hill died today after sustaining a fall inside the Keating Clock Tower in the early hours of the morning," wrote school President Joseph McShane in a letter to students, shared with the New York Post.

Monfries was weeks from graduation, and the University will present her parents with a Bachelor's degree posthumously, McShane said in his letter.

Students from Fordham University told the New York Post that climbing the tower and taking photos from the top is considered a "rite of passage." 

Another said they were just trying to get pictures of the skyline.

A university spokesperson said the tower is locked at all times and investigations are underway to figure out how the students scaled it.

One student told New York Post the tower is often unlocked during renovation or cleaning.

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