NEW YORK - A newborn tossed down a housing project's trash chute survived the eight-story fall because he landed on a pile of garbage and the compactor was jammed, investigators said yesterday.

A maintenance worker heard a baby's cries coming from the trash compactor in the Walt Whitman Houses on Sunday morning. The child was taken to Brooklyn Hospital, where he remained in stable condition, said a spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office. He said the baby did not appear to have been injured in the fall.

Laquasia Wright, 18, was arrested on charges of attempted murder and endangering the welfare of a child. Police said it appeared that Wright had given birth shortly before tossing the baby. She was also being treated at Brooklyn Hospital yesterday.

A large amount of trash had collected in the compactor room over the weekend, which likely cushioned the baby's landing, police said.