Witness describes 'very distressing' scenes after man killed by falling window

The Corniche
The Corniche
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A man has died after he was hit by a window that fell from a luxury block of flats in London.

Scotland Yard said a man was pronounced dead at the scene in Albert Embankment after they were called at around 10.40am on Tuesday.

The Corniche, a luxury block of flats on the Albert Embankment

The Corniche, a luxury block of flats on the Albert Embankment

Scrap metal dealer Paddy Riley said he was driving past shortly after the incident when he saw the victim laying on his back, and the pane of glass had taken "half his head away".

"There was lots of blood everywhere and other stuff - it was very, very distressing," the 59-year-old told the Press Association.

"There was a lot of labourers standing looking and pointing up at the window and down at him but no one was going near him."

Describing the victim as a middle-aged white man, he said at first he thought someone had fallen, but realised they would not have been blown that far.

He said a gust of wind must have caught the pane and blown it towards the base of Embankment Park Plaza where the victim was killed.

"His family have got to hear about it now. That's the worst thing - they probably don't even know what's happened," Mr Riley added.

An image taken from The Corniche building on the south bank of the river by a resident shows a large window unit, complete with metal frame containing glass, on top of a male figure.

The body, lying in the road outside the property and covered by a sheet, is surrounded by wooden pallets and a substantial amount of blood, as emergency services survey the scene.

A Met Police spokesman said: "The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Inquiries are under way to trace his next of kin.

"At this early stage in the investigation, it is believed he was hit by something falling from a building."

The Health and Safety Executive has been informed.

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.

A section of window from one of the penthouse properties could be seen to be missing from the structure.

Property developer St James said it was investigating the incident at The Corniche.

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."

The Corniche is listed as an "exclusive riverside address" made up 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 are priced between £2.7 million and £6.25 million.