Dezeen Magazine

Merchandise Mart, Chicago

Woman dies in swing accident at NeoCon furniture fair

A woman has died after falling off a swing at the NeoCon design trade show in Chicago earlier this week.

Jacqueline E Albertine, aged 57, hit her head in the fall at the Merchandise Mart venue on Tuesday 12 June 2018, and was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital nearby.

The accident occurred in the afternoon at the David Edward showroom on the third floor, where the swing was on display. The company offers several swinging products for commercial and office environments.

The brand was presenting in its own showroom in the Merchandise Mart for the first time, after exhibiting at the fair for 50 years.

"We are saddened by the tragic death of a woman who was visiting one of our showroom tenants and was involved in an accident with one of the tenant's products," said Lynda Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Merchandise Mart. "We extend our condolences to the family."

Albertine, from Miami Beach, Florida, was attending the event on behalf of Corporate Design Choice, where she had worked in commercial furniture sales for 14 years.

NeoCon took place from 11 to 13 June 2018, marking the 50th anniversary of the fair, which is attended by visitors from around the world. Exhibitors Merchandise Mart, a vast building in Chicago's River North neighbourhood that was recently updated with a new lobby and social spaces.

Fatal accidents at design events are extremely rare, although in November 2016, a child died in a fire caused by an incandescent lightbulb at Tokyo Design Week. The event was subsequently cancelled as a result.