Woman left with 'life-changing' injuries after man falls on her from top floor of Westfield Shopping Center
Police have confirmed that the two have not suffered life-threatening injuries and that the man has been arrested on charges of reckless endangerment and grievous bodily harm
A horrifying incident that unfolded at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford saw a man falling from the top floor straight onto a woman who was standing below. Miraculously, both survived the incident, though the extent of their injuries is currently unclear.
According to the Mirror, officers from the Metropolitan Police were called to the shopping center at around 4 pm on October 17 on reports that a man had fallen from the top floor and injured himself and another woman. The incident is believed to have taken place next to an escalator and close to the food court in what is apparently one of the busiest parts of the center.
Paramedics from the London Ambulance Service (LAS), including two ambulance crews, an incident response crew, an advanced paramedic, and two single responders made their way to the scene to treat the pair. A spokesman for the LAS confirmed that they had indeed been called to the center 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," he said. "We treated two people at the scene and took them both to the hospital as a priority."
Pictures and videos that circulated across numerous social media platforms showed the other shoppers screaming and in chaos and barriers could be seen propped up around the area where the man had landed.
A video taken in the immediate aftermath showed three security guards urging the other shoppers to make space so the paramedics could reach the injured pair.
Tatiana Baio, who was working at the Disney Store on the ground floor of the shopping center during the incident, spoke to the Daily Mail and said, "I just saw a load of people running towards the place where it happened."
She added: "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."
Another witness, who wished to remain anonymous, told Essex Live, "I was walking through the shopping center 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 wasn't in a rush, which is never a good sign."
It was reported that the man, who is 24 years old, was arrested at the hospital on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and reckless endangerment of life. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said that neither of the pair's injuries was life-threatening, but that the woman's injuries were possible "life-changing".
A spokesman for the shopping center expressed their condolences for the woman and insisted that shoppers' safety was their number one concern. "We are deeply saddened to learn that a woman injured yesterday is believed to have life-changing injuries," he said.
"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."
Watch the video of the incident here: