Metal falls from Sheffield tower block, narrowly missing stunned resident

Matthew Fletcher says the metal pieces missed him by just a few feet
Matthew Fletcher says the metal pieces missed him by just a few feet
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A man has spoken of his horror after metal plummeted from a tower block in Sheffield, narrowly missing him.

Matthew Fletcher was standing outside the rear entrance to the Hanover block on Exeter Drive, in Broomhall, when he says two pieces of metal went whizzing past him before landing around five feet away.

Matthew Fletcher

Matthew Fletcher

He believes the metal, which was dislodged during the strong winds on Monday evening, had been left behind when potentially dangerous cladding was removed from the building this summer.

The 43-year-old, who lives at the block with his girlfriend, claims the pieces - the largest of which measures around 7inx6in, roughly equivalent to a sheet of A5 writing paper - could have caused serious injury had they hit someone.

"I was buzzing for my girlfriend to let me in when the pieces of metal fell, narrowly missing me, at around 8.45pm," he said.

"I personally believe that if these pieces of metal had struck anyone significant injury may have occurred.

The pieces of metal

The pieces of metal

"These pieces of metal which were presumably from the covering panels should surely have been moved from the building to make the site safe after the cladding was removed, but clearly this was not done."

Mr Fletcher added that he had lived at the block for several years and felt it was poorly maintained, having been promised repairs to his windows which he says were never carried out.

The cladding was removed from the block after failing fire safety tests carried out in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Jill Hurst, Sheffield Council's head of housing investment and repairs, said: "We are keen to speak to Mr Fletcher about this as soon as possible.

Hanover tower block

Hanover tower block

"We have spoken to our contractor who assured us that the appropriate checks were done when they completed the work, but we will investigate further once we have spoken to Mr Fletcher about the incident."

Winds reached speeds of up to 77mph in Sheffield as Storm Ophelia swept through the UK and Ireland on Monday.