Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Man killed by betting shop sign

The scene outside the Camden Road William Hill betting shop, after a man was killed by a falling sign

A man has died after being hit by a sign which fell from a William Hill betting shop.

The man, believed to be in his 20s, died following the incident in Camden, north London, at 4.55pm, Scotland Yard said.

He was treated at the scene in Camden Road for a head injury and transferred to hospital where he later died, London Ambulance Service (LAS) said. "Every effort was made to resuscitate him at the scene and on the way to University College Hospital," an LAS spokeswoman said.

A William Hill spokeswoman said: "There is an urgent investigation under way and we are still establishing facts and liaising with authorities. As such, we don't have a comment to make at this time."

The sign, which had covered the length of the shop front, fell on to the pavement.

Police erected a forensic tent on the pavement to cover the place where the man was killed, and cordoned off the surrounding area.

Ioana Nita, 21, was working at a nearby restaurant when the accident happened. "I'm shocked. We heard a very loud noise. Me and a colleague went outside and saw the guy lying on the floor," she said. "Five guys picked up the sign and it was put on the side. His hands were covered in blood and he wasn't moving. Lots of people were in a circle around him, then the ambulance arrived and they were trying to get him back to life, pressing on his heart." She added: "I just want to go home and cry. I don't know how that can happen. The sign is huge. Everyone said he was just walking past the shop. I cross that way five times a day. That could have been me."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Officers and London Ambulance Service attended and the man, believed to be aged in his 20s, was taken to a central London hospital for treatment. He died there a short while later. At this early stage it appears the man received his injuries after being struck by a sign or board which has fallen from a building."

Ken Osbourne, 28, who works at the nearby Woody Grill restaurant, said: "I saw the guy lying down in the road, covered in blood. The main impact was clearly on his head. I saw them trying to resuscitate him in the back of the ambulance." Mr Osbourne added: "Hundreds of people walk past here every day. It could've been me or any one of them. The shop has been there for about 10 years."

Health and safety investigators entered a flat above the shop to take photographs of the sign, which was made of metal and measured approximately 30ft. A bunch of flowers was left at the scene by a member of the public as a mark of respect.

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