A man has died after falling from the Tate Modern art gallery building in London.
The Met Police has said the death is being treated as unexpected but is not thought to be suspicious. Officers were called to the Tate, one of London's top tourist attractions, on Friday morning to reports of a man who had fallen from the building.
But despite the efforts of medics he died at the scene, authorities said. The gallery, one of the most visited art museums in the world, said it would remain closed for the rest of the day following the incident. It reopened as usual on Saturday.
What we know
Emergency services were called to the gallery in Bankside at about 10.45am, and the man, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead.
A cordon remained in place on Friday afternoon. Visitors who turned up at the venue were met with a sign saying “Sorry, Tate Modern is closed today”. They were also turned away by similar signs that were posted at the various entrances to the visitor attraction on London’s Bankside.
In a statement, the Tate said: “We are very sad to report that a member of the public passed away at Tate Modern this morning. The police are not treating the event as suspicious, but we have closed the gallery for the day as a mark of respect. All our thoughts are with the person’s family and friends at this time.”
A London Ambulance Service spokesman added: “We sent resources to the scene, including an ambulance crew, a paramedic on a motorcycle, an incident response officer and a clinical team manager. We also dispatched London’s Air Ambulance.
“Our first medics arrived at the scene in approximately three minutes. Very sadly, despite the best efforts of our crews, a person was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Reaction to incident
A coffee vendor told The Independent: “My head is all over the place it has been an awful morning. Our colleague saw it all happen and has gone home for the day. We’ve got to shut early now.”
A busker added: “There were loads of lights and ambulances. People came flooding out of the Tate I thought they were coming to hear me. But nobody knew what was going on - there was a real lack of information.
“I asked two Tate staff and they just said there had been an incident but we can’t go into it. Why didn’t they come out and tell everyone?
“It’s very sad.”
Bookshop manager William English told Mail Online: “There were police all around the big black gates. Police vans were there and officers were walking around.
“They put up black boards. The next thing I realised they had pink ribbons saying police lines do not cross.”
In August 2019, a six-year-old French boy was seriously injured after being thrown from a viewing platform at the Tate Modern by teenager Jonty Bravery.
The boy, who had been on holiday with his parents at the time of the attack, survived the 100ft (30m) fall, but suffered life-changing injuries, including a bleed on the brain and broken bones.
CCTV footage showed Bravery, then 17, looking over the edge of the balcony, 10 storeys up, before seizing the young victim by the limbs and hurling him over the edge.
Bravery then sought out Tate staff and confessed: "I think I've murdered someone, I've just thrown someone off the balcony.”
He is currently serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 15 years for attempted murder.