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Teen dies after fall inside vacant Ravenswood Hospital; owner cited

Exterior vacant building 1931 W. Wilswhere 16-year-old boy was critically injured after falling two stories. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

Exterior of a vacant building at 1931 W. Wilson where a 16-year-old boy was critically injured after falling two stories. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: August 4, 2012 6:16AM

A 16-year-old boy who snuck into the old Ravenswood Hospital building on the North Side and fell two stories through a hole in the floor on Monday has died.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office identified the boy as Jose Morales, of the 6100 block of West Eddy Avenue.

Police said he had entered the vacant building at 1931 W. Wilson Ave. with two other teenage boys through a fire escape at about 3:35 a.m. Monday.

He opened a door on the second floor of the boarded-up building and fell through a hole in the floor, Town Hall District police Lt. Richard Plotke said.

The boy suffered internal injuries and head injuries, and was taken in critical condition to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 1 p.m., according to police and the medical examiner’s office.

The other boys — both 17 — weren’t hurt.

Ravenswood Hospital has been vacant since the 1990s.

The property is now owned by Lycee Francais de Chicago (The French International School), which plans to demolish the complex and build a 90,000-square-foot school there. Lycee is a private, not-for-profit pre-kindergarten through high school.

Inspectors from the city’s Department of Buildings inspected the building Monday and determined it hadn’t been securely maintained, agency spokeswoman Caroline Weisser said.

The city received a complaint about the building last December and issued a violation notice then to Lycee Francais, ordering the school to secure the site, Weisser said. An inspection in March found the building had been properly secured, she said.

A Lycee spokesperson could not be reached for comment Monday.

Contributing: LeeAnn Shelton

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