We're terrified after a window fell 140ft from the 13th floor of our crumbling tower block – someone will be killed | The Sun

PANICKED residents have been left shaken after a window fell from the 13th floor of their crumbling tower block.

The pane of glass plunged 140ft onto the pavement outside a Costa Coffee and across the road from a primary school minutes before the bell rang for the end of the day.

Terrifying footage shows shards "raining down" before shattering at the base of Colliers Wood Tower in south London last Monday.

Those living in the building have since told how they are petrified that more glass will come crashing down while somebody is underneath.

Some say that after years of maintenance issues – including broken lifts and having no hot water – this is the final straw and they are now looking to move out. 

And parents at nearby Singlegate Primary School have told how they will refuse to let their kids anywhere near the 182-apartment block until every window has been checked.


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Georgia Petherick, a nurse who has lived in the building for two years, said: "The video is shocking. If that had hit someone it would have killed them or a piece could have slit someone’s neck.

"The building managers are so, so lucky no one was underneath.

"It would have cut someone up. It’s really scary, I'm really worried."

The 31-year-old, who pays £775 a month for a room and en-suite in a two-bed flat, added: "It’s so panic-inducing, but the building as a whole has always been a real problem.

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"I went a week last winter without any hot water. It was really bad. And there are issues constantly.

"It's such a beautiful flat inside, but would we put up with this if it wasn't so nice and pretty and modern?"

Tom Wegrzyn, who also lives in a two-bed flat in the building, agreed that things needed to change – and said the windows falling out might push him to move.

The 39-year-old, who pays £1,550 a month in rent, said: "I was at work when it happened but my partner was getting ready and heard a big crack and the glass fall off. 

"We’re really worried now that it might happen to the windows in our flat, and we won't walk underneath.

"I like the area and it’s very convenient with the Tube station so close and all the shops and restaurants, but I think it might be time to move out of the building now."

Retailer worker Tom added: "Last year I lived on the 13th floor and there was a problem with the sprinklers which flooded seven floors down and no one did anything about it.

"I've lived here for four years and everything has always been really faulty. Every day there is something new.

"There have been broken windows for months, really bad cracks everywhere, and the lifts are sometimes off for 10 weeks."

It would have cut someone up. It’s really scary, I'm really worried.

Other tenants complained that the corridor lights are always broken, while several criticised how quickly maintenance issues are dealt with.

But they all agreed it was a "miracle" nobody was hurt last week when the window fell on a normally busy area of High Street Colliers Wood.

One woman, who lives on one of the middle floors of Britannia Point and wished to remain anonymous, said: "The place where we usually smoke is exactly where the glass fell.

"I was there two hours before it happened and I was like, ‘damn I’m lucky’.

"I’m glad no one got hurt because I easily could have been having a coffee at Costa and the window falling on me."

She also said it was "about time" someone finally took care of the building because it has been "neglected for years".

"I think they should offer us a rent reduction because of this and everything else," she added.

Decio Vasconcelos, 33, has lived in his £1,500-a-month flat for four years and spent his first two there without any heating.

The hospitality professional, who works for Gordon Ramsay, has also lived with a broken window, which is so cracked he can "feel the breeze coming through", for the last three years, and wakes up almost every morning to no hot water.

Another tenant, who gave her name only as Jess, had just returned to her £1,600-a-month flat after a week away and was shocked to find the area cordoned off by scores of police and council workers.

The woman, who has lived alone in the two-bed flat for two months, said: "I was a bit surprised to be honest. It's disconcerting.

"I literally got back and was like ‘oh my god what’s going on?’. I was worried, and I think they’ve now found some more cracks."


As well as a branch of Costa, there is a small Co-op at the base of the building.

Sales assistant Aravind Chandraesekar, 24, who has worked there for two years, said: "I was in the warehouse and I heard a noise like ice breaking so I went outside and after a few seconds the whole glass fell down.

"It was shattered all over the ground. There were lots of people standing there in shock.

"Kids play here all the time and it happened 10 minutes before school closing time."

Many of the children he referred to attend Singlegate Primary which sits just feet away from where the glass fell.

Concerned parents have said they will now avoid the street entirely until every window has been inspected.

Mum Eve Geraghty, 37, said: "I’ve got two kids and I shop there quite regularly so it is very worrying.

"I will absolutely avoid the area until the problem is fixed."

Dad Ziyad Akhlaq, 32, said: "If I’m with my children I’ll keep them away from the building."

I live on the other side of the building but I’ll continue to walk the long way round just in case.

Noreen Pazir, who has youngsters at the school, said: "We are worried. I live on the other side of the building but I’ll continue to walk the long way round just in case.

"Even if the council says the issue has been fixed I will of course avoid walking underneath the glass."

And dad Chris Sibson, 43, said: "The video was shocking. I feel for the people living there.

"It’s very lucky nobody was underneath it at the time. So many people walked past it from the Tube."

And even the children are anxious after hearing about it at school.

Dad-of-one Tomasz Adamkiewicz, 40, whose 11-year-old attends Singlegate, said: "There was glass all over the floor just outside Costa Coffee where kids play all the time.

"I am really worried about going anywhere near there, especially now more cracks are exposed.

"My daughter is worried too. She walks home on her own sometimes and she called me on the day and said ‘daddy something has happened’ so I told her to go straight home. It was scary."

Hotel reception manager Sylbia Raczka, who was sitting outside Costa when it happened, said she was "thankful" her kids were still in class.

The 43-year-old added: "It was horrible. At first small pieces started falling down and then rest came down."


Locals have speculated what could have caused the pane to fall out, suggesting a bird could have hit it or glue could have melted in the sun.

But Colliers Wood resident Branwyn Darlington, who is in her late 40s, thinks the building has been a "mess for years" and it is "unbelievable" that it could have been a bird.

"We were joking that it would have had to have been the size of a pterodactyl," she said.

Several days after the glass fell, the council and building management company fenced off the area and began an abseil inspection to check every pane of glass for issues.

Safety testing the following day then identified cracks on other panes of glass and the safety cordon was extended.

A council spokesperson today said it was no longer coordinating the operation – which was due to finish on Monday – but it got involved because of the wider interests of safety in the area.

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Criterion Capital, which manages the building, has been approached for comment.

The building manager previously told residents: "On behalf of Criterion Hospitality, I would like to apologise if the incident gave the tenants a feeling of insecurity and unsafety."

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