The launch of a £1.4bn shopping centre set to be the Olympic gateway was hit with unwelcome drama yesterday afternoon as a glass ceiling tile dislodged itself and plummeted 30ft to the floor of the food court. The 5ft by 2.5ft tile crashed to the ground near a stage at the Westfield Stratford mall where pop star Nicole Scherzinger had just performed live as part of the star-studded opening ceremony, shattering into pieces yards away from London Mayor Boris Johnson. As staff rushed to clear up the debris and secure the area, Mr Johnson, who had been giving a radio interview at the time, escaped unhurt and brushed off the incident, barely missing a beat before he praised the hard work and competence of the site’s construction team.
‘They have worked flat-out down here and whatever has happened over there (where the roof tile fell), I’m sure will be investigated and cleared up as soon as possible,’ he said.
Christian Radnedge, a reporter from Soccer and Olympic News, was standing near Mr Johnson when the ceiling panel fell.
He said: ‘Boris was speaking to broadcast people at the time and I was there. All of a sudden the panel just came crashing down with a loud bang about 10 metres from Boris.
‘He looked confused and shocked, everyone was shocked. The people sitting nearby on the tables were petrified.”
by The Punjapit Alliance on behalf of A + E