Everything we know as boy dies after falling from a window at the Sheffield Metropolitan Hotel on Blonk Street

Investigations are ongoing after a boy died from falling out of a window at the Sheffield Metropolitan Hotel on Blonk Street.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 2:07 pm

Emergency services were on the scene at the hotel last night (Wednesday, August 18) to establish the circumstances in which the child fell to his death.

This is everything we know about the incident so far.

What happened

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Police outside the Sheffield Metropolitan Hotel on Blonk Street where a boy tragically fell to his death yesterday, Wednesday, August 18.

South Yorkshire Police put out a statement yesterday afternoon to say officers were responding to an incident on Blonk Street after closing off the NCP car park between the Metropolitan hotel and the nearby Holiday Inn.

A spokesperson said: “Emergency services are currently on scene at an incident on Blonk Street, Sheffield. There is a large presence. The NCP car park is currently closed.

“Please avoid the area if you can. We will update you with details as soon as we are able to.”

Shortly afterwards, officers shared another statement confirming that a child had tragically died after falling from a window at the Metropolitan.

Police outside the Metropolitan Hotel on Blonk Street after a tragic incident in which a boy fell to his death from a window.

It said: “We are sorry to share a boy has sadly died after falling from a building in Sheffield this afternoon.

"Emergency services were called to the Sheffield Metropolitan Hotel on Blonk Street, Sheffield ... after reports the boy had fallen from a window."

They are now appealing for witnesses to help them establish the full circumstances around what happened.

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Child dies after tragic fall from Sheffield Metropolitan Hotel window on Blonk S...

When did it happen

Officers say emergency services were called to the scene at around 2.30pm yesterday, Wednesday, August 18.

They first publicly confirmed there had been an incident at 3.45pm, and confirmed the boy had sadly died in a post at 5.28pm.

Who is the boy

The child has not been officially named by police but it has been revealed that he was just five years old. South Yorkshire Police say no formal identification has yet taken place by the family.

His family

South Yorkshire Police have said the boy’s family are being supported by specially trained officers at this difficult time.

What did witnesses say about the incident

Nearby residents said they believed it was the top floor of the Blonk Street NCP car park, which the Metropolitan hotel backs onto, which had been where police had been concentrating much of their investigation yesterday.

People living and working nearby were shocked and horrified to hear what had happened, and were asking how the windows could have been opened wide enough for someone to fall out of them.

Mick Cottingham, who works nearby, said his thoughts were with the family after the tragedy.

He said: “I’m absolutely shocked to hear what's happened.

"I can’t understand how it could have happened. Hotels have windows that are restricted to stop people opening them up fully. That’s a health and safety feature that you see in hotels. What on earth could it have happened?

"I’m a father myself. I really feel for that poor family.”

Resident David Gurnhill lives nearby at the North Bank Building, directly opposite the Metropolitan on the other side of the River Don. He was also shocked by what had happened

He said he and his partner had noticed open windows in the hotel in the past.

"It’s so awful to hear what has happened,” he said. “My thoughts are with the family.

"We live close by and some of the windows sometimes look pretty wide open.”

He said it was awful to think of the tragedy happening so close to the North Bank Building, where two year old Ryaheen Banimuslem died after falling 60ft from the fourth floor of the block in 2012.

The hotel is situated just yards away across the Don.

Tributes

Heartfelt tributes have been pouring in for the boy and his family following the tragedy.

More than 600 people commented on the South Yorkshire Police post about the incident.

Sandra Ellen Smith said: “So very sad, thoughts and love to family and friends. RIP little one.”

Emma Natalie added: “How absolutely tragic. Sending so much love to their family right now. I cannot imagine what they are going through.”

Sally Waggott-Hill also said: “How absolutely horrendous and tragic. How on Earth has that happened. Poor little lad and his poor family. Heartbreaking.”

Health and safety concerns

It has emerged that concerns about how far the windows opened in the high-rise hotel had been raised with the venue on its social media sites in the past.

Former guest Ashi Khan posted in a complaint on the Metropolitan hotel’s own Facebook page in 2019: “I could not open the window as it opened so wide I was scared my children would fall out.”

She also published a picture showing a wide open window.

The Star has contacted OYO Rooms, the company behind the Sheffield Metropolitan, for comment.

What has the council said

Sheffield City Council bosses have pleged to provide any support they can to help the boy’s family.

Councillor Terry Fox, leader of Sheffield City Council, said today: “This is absolutely devastating, just so incredibly sad. As a council we are in close contact with the police and will provide any support that we can to the family – my heart goes out to them.

"It is not appropriate for me to comment further while police investigations into this tragedy continue.”

What happens next

Police enquiries appear to be ongoing to establish the circumstances around the incident and officers are calling for anyone who witnessed it to get in touch. Anyone who witnessed the incident, or who has information that could assist with police enquiries, is asked to call 101. You can also report it online here. The incident number is 489 of August 18. The Metropolitan Hotel has not yet shared a statement or any information about what happened.