A pedestrian walking along a London street was killed when he was crushed beneath a falling window pane which plunged 250ft from a luxury penthouse.
The horrific incident unfolded outside the 27-storey Corniche tower in Vauxhall in the south of the city shortly before 11am this morning.
Shocking pictures from the scene show a large section of glass missing from the top floor of the apartment block, while the man’s body was stuck beneath the fallen window on the ground below.
Witnesses said the man was a coach driver who had been using the toilet in the Riverbank Plaza Hotel and was killed after he walked out of the building.
Builder Jermaine Dawes, who was working nearby, said: ‘I came back from lunch and I saw glass everywhere. Police were all over the road, he wasn’t moving, it was such a mess.’
A photograph taken from inside the Corniche building shows shattered glass scattered across the pavement, with the man’s body crushed beneath the window frame
Pictures of the building show a missing pane of glass on the top floor. Ringed at the bottom (left) is where the man was killed
The window fell from the top floor of the building as the man reportedly left a nearby hotel. Police have set up a cordon on the usually busy street and the victim’s body has been covered up
Coaches from the firm for which the man is said to work were seen parked nearby. The firm has declined to comment beyond saying that he incident was ‘tragic’ and offering their thoughts to the victim’s family
Paddy Riley, 59, saw the aftermath of the horror accident and said the victim was a man in his forties.
He said: ‘I was just driving past on a job, it was 10.40, and I saw him. He was middle-aged, in his forties. He was wearing a grey jumper.
‘There was blood everywhere… it was very bad, I would call it totally distressing.’
Another witness, who asked not to be named, said: ‘The man was a coach driver for Clarkes of London. He came out of the Riverbank Plaza Hotel and he was hit – he had been using the toilet. It is a big shock, nobody expects this to happen, especially round here.’
Clarkes of London coaches were parked nearby, but it has not yet been confirmed whether the man worked for them.
A spokesman for the company said: ‘This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the victim’s family. It is not appropriate for us to comment any further while the police investigate this tragedy and speak to the next of kin.’
The Corniche is described as an ‘exclusive riverside address’ of 252 two, three, and four bedroom apartments which overlook a number of London landmarks.
Designed by Foster + Partners, it is the same company responsible for the Gherkin, and properties within the development come with a price tag between £2.7million and £6.25million.
Police have cordoned off the scene and officers from the Met are said to be trying to trace the man’s family
The victim, who has not yet been named, was pronounced dead at the scene, next to which construction work is taking place
The properties were designed by architect firm headed up by Norman Foster, who has helped design some of London’s most iconic newly created architectural structures, including the Gherkin and City Hall.
Police said officers are trying to trace the victim’s family today.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘Police were called by the London Ambulance Service at 10.42am to reports of a man injured in Albert Embankment.
‘The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Enquiries are underway to trace his next of kin.’
He added: ‘At this early stage in the investigation, it is believed he was hit by something falling from a building.
‘Officers remain at the scene. The Health and Safety Executive has been informed. Enquiries continue.’
A HSE spokesperson said: ‘HSE is aware of the incident at Albert Embankment and making initial enquiries alongside Met Police.’
The victim was said to be passing underneath the newly completed block of flats on the Albert Embankment when the glass pane fell around 250ft
MailOnline has contacted Berkeley Group and Norman + Partners for comment.
London Ambulance Service confirmed it was called to the incident, and dispatched two motorcycle responders, a car and an ambulance.
‘Sadly, a person was dead at the scene,’ the spokesman said.
Property developer St James said it was investigating the incident at its Corniche building.
A spokesman said: ‘It is with great sadness that we learnt of an incident at our Corniche development on Albert Embankment this morning, in which a man suffered fatal injuries.
‘We extend our deepest sympathies to his family at this incredibly difficult time.
‘We are investigating this incident as a matter of urgency and working with the emergency services to establish what happened.’