Boy, 6, now in 'critical but stable' condition after being 'thrown' from Tate Modern viewing gallery

A six-year-old by who was allegedly ‘thrown’ five floors from the 10th floor of the Tate Modern art gallery in London is no longer fighting for his life.

By Alana Roberts
Monday, 05 August, 2019, 11:49
Emergency crews attending the scene at the Tate Modern art gallery. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The boy, who landed on the fifth floor roof, remains in hospital in a “critical, but stable” condition.

A 17-year-old male had remained with members of the public on the 10th-floor viewing platform after the incident on Sunday afternoon, the force said.

Emergency crews attending a scene at the Tate Modern art gallery, following the arrest of a 17-year-old male on suspicion of attempted murder after a six-year-old boy was thrown from the tenth floor viewing platform. Photo: Stuart Haggas/PA Wire

They added that there was nothing to suggest that he is known to the victim.

He was arrested shortly afterwards on suspicion of attempted murder and remains in police custody.

Officers were called to the gallery at around 2.40pm and the child was treated at the scene before being flown to hospital by London's Air Ambulance.

Visitors reported on social media not being allowed in or out of the gallery while emergency services dealt with the incident.

Administration worker Nancy Barnfield, 47, of Rochdale, was at the 10th-floor viewing gallery with a friend and their children when her friend heard a "loud bang".

Ms Barnfield turned around and saw a woman screaming "where's my son, where's my son?"

Members of the public quickly gathered around a man who was nearby, she said.

Ms Barnfield said: "We did not notice the mum before, we noticed her after because she was hysterical by then."

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She said the person who was restrained by members of the public before the police arrived "just stood there and was quite calm".

But most visitors only discovered that someone had been injured as they tried to leave.

A group of uniformed police officers could be seen going into one of the gallery entrances at 4.53pm as the metal shutters were brought down and visitors were turned away.

BBC journalist Jonny Dymond, who was in the gallery at the time of the incident, said visitors were funnelled into a main hall while all exits were closed.

He added: "There were quite a lot of families with children, and security guards told us we couldn't leave.

"There were at least two fire engines, 10 police cars and an incident control unit.

"Parts of the exterior of the building were taped off."

The Tate remained closed for the rest of Sunday.

A spokeswoman for the gallery said: "Tate is working closely with the police to help with their investigations.

"All our thoughts are with the child and his family."

The Tate Modern was the UK's most popular tourist attraction in 2018 after being visited 5.9 million times, according to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.

With the schools having broken up and holiday season begun, there are likely to have been thousands of visitors to the gallery on Sunday.