GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The day after the third man who fell from a stairwell at The B.O.B. in Grand Rapids died, 24 Hour News 8 went undercover and found that stairwell still open and doesn't have any warning signs.
24 Hour News 8's crew had a cellphone video camera rolling when they went to The B.O.B. -- a popular downtown venue -- Tuesday. There were no signs around the staircase from which three men have fallen to their deaths since 2009.
The most recent death was that of Kevin O'Brien, 36, who fell four stories Sunday and died Monday.
A manager asked 24 Hour News 8 crew to leave because of security rather than safety. He was concerned about people stealing bottles from the fourth-floor bar.
Jordan Schaefer and Ashley Dietch go to The B.O.B. and have been in that stairway.
"It's just a crowded staircase. I don't think it's anything too dangerous," Schaefer said.
But they say something needs to be done to make sure an accident like this doesn't happen again.
"It's devastating to me. It's such a fun city and such a fun place that it's sad to think you couldn't just go out and have a good time, that people have to be irresponsible," Dietch said.
Dietch said she doesn't know what The B.O.B. should do, "but obviously something needs to be done."
A manger at The B.O.B. said management is working on changes. Starting this Friday, he said, the plan is to ask people to use the elevator instead of stairs. They will also have staff inside the stairway to make sure everyone gets up and down safely.
He said that will be only for the weekends.
Management is also working on installing either higher railings or nets from floor to ceiling to keep people from falling.
The family of O'Brien put out a statement Tuesday evening saying it's still unclear what lead to his fall. They are asking anyone who saw it to call police.
The O'Brien family's full statement:
"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved son, brother, and significant other. He lived his life with joy and vitality. However, his death was tragic and details regarding the precipitating events remain unclear. We urge any person who may have witnessed Kevin's fall to contact the Grand Rapids Police Department. In the meantime, know that as we mourn Kevin's death, we are taking solace in his decision in life to be an organ donor. Our blessings to the families who have received the fruits of Kevin's last wishes."
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