Man who survived 120ft plunge from top floor of Westfield Stratford City shopping mall is arrested for GBH
London England October 20 2018 A man who plunged 120ft from the top floor of Westfield Stratford City shopping mall has been arrested for GBH after landing on a woman who has been left with life-changing injuries.
Footage posted online showed onlookers screaming after the man fell at the complex in east London at around 4pm yesterday.
Pictures were also circulated of two people lying on the floor being tended to by emergency responders.
Police have confirmed today a 24-year-old man has now been arrested at hospital on suspicion of GBH and reckless endangerment of life and the woman has been left with life-changing injuries.
Horrified witness Kelly Buttle told the Mirror Online today the man fell through ‘mid-air’ as she sat down to have something to eat in the food court.
The 21-year-old said: ‘I was just sitting down on the phone waiting for my best friend to arrive. And I was just looking forward kind of day dreaming and suddenly I just saw someone fall right in front of my face.
‘There was no sound made by the person that was falling, it seemed so silent, and then when they fell I heard the loudest smack on the floor.
‘I saw bags on the floor and when I stood up to see what had happened I saw two people lying on the floor in complete silence.
‘I was in such shock I didn’t know what to do so I just sat down again as I felt really dizzy from what I’d just seen.’
One shopper told how she was making her way towards the escalators on the floor beneath.
She said: ‘It was so, so quick, it was the last thing I was expecting.
‘I was walking towards JD sports by the glass when I saw a flash in the corner of my eye.
‘It didn’t look like a figure but something falling. I was too far away to see what it was.
‘Everybody was running and rushing and shouting that he’d dropped.
‘I was panicking and in shock, I thought somebody had a knife.
‘I was so worried. I thought somebody got stabbed and when I looked down, I was shocked.
‘I saw the lady laid out on the floor on her back and everybody running towards her and crowding around.
‘She was conscious but her eyes were rolling into the back of her head like she was dizzy.
‘The man was on his side by the escalator and I could see he was moving his fingers.’
She added: ‘It was strange I didn’t hear him scream or shout when he fell through the air.’
Onlookers watched in shock before security started to clear the area minutes later.
A waitress confirmed the man fell over the glass barrier by Caffe Concerto on the top floor but did not know how it happened.
A manager said: ‘I received a call from security on the radio that an incident had taken place and we were told to close the shop.’
Another shop worker on the second floor said: ‘I heard screaming and when I went to the barrier.
‘I just saw him two floors down laying on the floor.’
A Met Police spokesperson said: ‘Neither person’s condition is deemed to be life-threatening, however the woman’s injuries are believed to be life-changing.
‘The man, aged 24, was arrested at hospital on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and reckless endangerment of life.
‘He remains in hospital.
‘Enquiries into the circumstances remain ongoing.’
A video taken in the immediate aftermath of the fall showed three security guards urging members of the public to give space to allow paramedics to reach the two people on the floor.
The incident occurred next to an escalator close to the food court in one of the busiest parts of the centre.
Today a spokesman from Westfield said: ‘We are deeply saddened to learn that a woman injured yesterday is believed to have life-changing injuries.
‘Our thoughts are with her and the family. The safety and security of our customers is our highest priority and our security team were immediately at the scene to help. We are continuing to offer support to the emergency services as they investigate the incident.’
People were seen peering down from the upper floors before a cordon was put up to obstruct their view.
Tatiana Baio, who was working in the Disney Store on the ground floor of the shopping centre during the incident, told MailOnline: ‘I just saw a load of people running towards the place where it happened.
‘I got a bit scared and customers were a bit surprised after it took place but it’s been a normal working day.
‘Where he fell was right by the escalator but people were looking down and looking at what happened.’
An anonymous witness told Essex Live: ‘I was walking through the shopping centre to get to the station when I saw the barriers.
‘They landed right outside the food court, which is the busiest place.
‘It didn’t look good at the scene, the ambulance crew weren’t in a rush, which is never a good sign.’
Others expressed their disbelief on Twitter, with one woman writing: ‘It was crazy! I saw the man mid air and then saw his friend on the middle floor looking around for him.
‘Luckily there was a woman who ran from behind me, off the escalator who looked like a healthcare professional and ran to their assistance.’
Another man said: ‘Just seen the guy that’s fallen over the balcony at Westfield Stratford. Doesn’t look good man, hope he’s ok.’
He later added: ‘Falling at that height… Very much doubt anyone could survive.’
The main part of the shopping centre has three floors. The top floor is thought to be around 120-feet high.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed the incident yesterday afternoon.
‘Police were called at approximately 4pm on Wednesday, 17 October to reports of a man fallen from a height and a woman injured at Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford,’ a spokesman said.
‘Officers and the London Ambulance Service are in attendance. We await an update on both the man and woman’s condition. Enquiries continue.’
The London Ambulance Service said: ‘We were called at 3.59pm today to Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford to reports of an incident.
‘We sent two ambulance crews, an incident response officer, an advanced paramedic and two single responders in cars to the scene. We treated two people at the scene and took them both to hospital as a priority.’
Yesterday Westfield said: ‘The safety and security of our customers is our highest priority and our security team were immediately at the scene to help. We are working with the emergency services as they investigate the incident.’
The incident yesterday was a chilling echo of a similar incident in 2013, when a teenager was seen hanging from a second-floor balcony by his fingertips before plunging to the floor and crashing a 47-year-old man.
Security guard Lakhdar Segar, 31, rushed to help when an onlooker told him the 18-year-old was about to jump, but could not stop him.
‘I looked outside and I saw a man hanging onto the balcony by both hands and dangling over the edge,’ Mr Segar said.
‘He was just hanging there very still. He was holding on and within a couple of seconds he let go and he was gone. He didn’t say anything when he fell down, he just fell in silence.’
The two men were taken to hospital and later recovered. Police later said the teenager had been attempting to commit suicide.