NYPD says storm has resulted in 22 NYC fatalities

Associated Press Modified: October 31, 2012 at 6:00 am •  Published: October 31, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) — A 23-year-old New Yorker was killed after stepping in a puddle near a live electric wire. An off-duty policeman drowned in his flooded basement after ushering relatives to safety in his attic.

Superstorm Sandy whipped up winds and floodwater that left at least 22 people dead, according to the New York Police Department. Some of the victims made the mistake of going outside; others thought they were safe staying at home.

Among those whose homes became deadly were a 75-year-old Manhattan woman found dead of possible cardiac arrest after power went out Monday evening and switched off her respirator. A 30-year-old man, Anthony Laino, was killed when a tree fell on his house in Queens.

The off-duty police officer, Artur Kasprzak, 28, apparently became trapped in the basement of his flooded Staten Island home.

With flood waters surging into his house, police said Kasprzak shepherded six adults and a baby to the attic at about 7 p.m. Monday. He then went downstairs to check the basement, but never returned.

Police officers eventually located his body in the basement 12 hours later. The six year veteran was assigned to the 1st Precinct in Manhattan.

Lauren Abraham was pronounced dead in front of her Queens home on 134th Street Monday night after she was electrocuted by the live wire.

The megastorm caused 13-foot storm surges in Manhattan, wiping out power to roughly 700,000 citywide and knocking down trees.