October 2 2014 Latest news:
Tim Lamden and Paul Wright
Thursday, July 31, 2014
West Hampstead residents and shopkeepers have spoken of their “disbelief” as the body of a 34-year-old man who died after falling from a block of flats was left on the street for hours covered by just a thin blanket.
Police and paramedics were called to the incident outside the Barclays bank in West End Lane at 5.20pm yesterday.
A doctor from London Air Ambulance pronounced the man dead at the scene and detectives from Camden Police say they are treating the death as non-suspicious at this stage.
With the high street busy with people leaving work and on their way home at the time, a shocked crowd was quick to gather around the man moments after he fell.
Witnesses described seeing a passing doctor try to resuscitate the individual with paramedics continuing efforts for a further 40 minutes.
Shopkeepers and passing bystanders spoke of their “shock” as the body - said to be “completely naked” at the time - was then “left for hours” on the street, covered by just a blanket.
A spokesman from the police said they were “still trying to find out why a tent was not used” to cover the scene.
Laeeq Riaz, 20, who works at restaurant Pizza Amante across the road from where the man fell, told the Ham&High: “My friends and I were playing cards in the restaurant at the time.
“Another friend rushed into the restaurant in a state of panic saying he’d just seen a man fall.
“We went out and saw him lying on the floor.
“It was horrible. I can’t sleep and my friend can’t sleep. The body was there for three or four hours. Why wasn’t a tent put up? It’s so disrespectful.”
Another nearby shopkeeper, who didn’t want to be named, added: “It’s so sad - it’s become the talk of the road this morning.
“It’s terribly shocking for everyone in West Hampstead.
“I was walking past just after it happened. I saw a crowd of people looking up to where he had fallen from.
“So I looked up, and then made the dreadful mistake of looking down - I really wished I hadn’t.”
A resident of the block of flats from where the man fell was there when the incident happened but was “too shocked” to speak.
Several people have placed flowers at the spot to pay their respects.
The police have yet to confirm the name of the deceased. A post-mortem will take place in due course.