Mick Ferris tragically died today when a window pane fell from a 27-storey apartment block and landed on top of him
These are the first pictures to emerge of the coach driver killed today by a window pane that plunged 250ft from a luxury riverside penthouse and crushed him.
Mick Ferris was passing the 27-storey Corniche tower in Vauxhall, south-west London, when the glass fell from the top of the building.
The 53-year-old had reportedly stopped to use the toilet in the Riverbank Plaza Hotel next door and was returning to his vehicle when the pane dislodged.
A shocked colleague from Clarkes of London coaches, for whom Mr Ferris worked, told MailOnline: ‘He was a lovely guy, really warm and friendly. I can’t really say any more than that.’
Builder Jermaine Dawes, who was working nearby, told The Sun Online that a cleaner may have opened a window in Corniche tower too forcefully, causing it to fall.
‘I came back from lunch and I saw glass everywhere,’ he said.
‘Police were all over the road, he wasn’t moving, it was such a mess.
‘People are saying that a cleaner was too forceful with the window and that’s why it fell.’
Another witness, who asked not to be named, said: ‘He came out of the Riverbank Plaza Hotel and he was hit – he had been using the toilet. It is a big shock, nobody expects this to happen, especially round here.’
A distraught colleague of grandfather Mr Ferris said the avid West Ham fan’s death was ‘devastating’ and happened just a week before he was due to go on holiday with wife Rachel.
‘It’s unbelievably bad luck for that to happen but Mick was a popular bloke and all of us are devastated,’ he said, adding that the coach driver was originally from East London but had since moved to Medway, Kent.
‘This morning, he’d gone to the cafe under the arches with a colleague and I think he was heading back to the coach when he was hit by a window pane that had come loose from a penthouse in The Corniche building,’ he added. ‘It was pretty instantaneous from what I’ve been told. He wouldn’t have known anything about it.
‘His colleague who witnessed it is absolutely beside himself, as you’d expect, and won’t be working for a while. We want to know how something like this could happen in an apartment building worth several million pounds.
‘Mick was due to go on holiday next week to The Maldives with his wife Rachel and some friends. It’s so tragic, my heart goes out to his family.’
A spokesman for the coach firm said: ‘This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the victim’s family. It is not appropriate for us to comment any further while the police investigate this tragedy and speak to the next of kin.’
A photograph taken from inside the Corniche building shows shattered glass scattered across the pavement
Pictures of the building show a missing pane of glass on the top floor. Ringed at the bottom (left) is where the victim died
Police are pictured inside the apartment from which a pane of glass plummeted, killing the coach driver in Vauxhall, south-west London
Avid West Ham fan Mr Ferris (pictured, left, behind the wheel and, right) was crushed by a pane of glass that plummeted 250 ft in Vauxhall, south-west London this morning
The window is thought to have fallen from a penthouse suite similar to that pictured in this artist’s impression of the building
The window fell from the top floor of the building. Police have set up a cordon on the usually busy street next to the Thames
Mick Ferris (believed to be pictured driving a coach in this image from his Twitter profile) died today while he was returning to his vehicle after using the toilet next door to the tower
Police and the Health and Safety Executive are investigating how the window ended up falling from the top of the building, which was only finished last year and contain at least one £6million flat still up for sale. Property developer St James said it was investigating the incident.
A spokesman said: ‘It is with great sadness that we learnt of an incident at our Corniche development on Albert Embankment this morning, in which a man suffered fatal injuries.
‘We extend our deepest sympathies to his family at this incredibly difficult time. We are investigating this incident as a matter of urgency and working with the emergency services to establish what happened.’
Completed last year, the Corniche is described as an ‘exclusive riverside address’ of 252 two, three, and four bedroom apartments which overlook London landmarks including the Houses of Parliament.
Police are pictured at the scene as they investigate the death of Mick Ferris, who was crushed by a window pane that fell 250 ft from the top of the luxury penthouse in south-west London
The pane of glass became dislodged at the top of the Corniche Tower in Vauxhall, plunging hundreds of feet and killing a coach driver (pictured, police at the scene this evening)
It sits on the banks of the Thames between the Church of England’s headquarters Lambeth Palace and the iconic MI6 building which has featured in James Bond films.
Designed by Foster + Partners, it is the same company responsible for the Gherkin, and properties within the development come with a price tag between £2.7million and £6.25million.
The properties were designed by architect firm headed up by Norman Foster, who has helped design some of London’s most iconic newly created architectural structures, including the Gherkin and City Hall.
The developer’s website suggests a three-bedroom apartment is still for sale in the building, priced at £6.25million.
A coach parked opposite the site is understood to have been driven by the man killed. A colleague said he was ‘a lovely guy’
Coaches from the firm for Mr Ferris worked were seen parked nearby. The firm said the incident was ‘tragic’
Police have cordoned off the scene. Officials from the Health and Safety Executive are investigating how it happened
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, next to which construction work is taking place
The building – part of a huge, multi-million pound redevelopment of the Albert Embankment – was recently named in a report by anti-corruption campaigners Transparency International which found that four out of five homes in the capital’s new developments have been sold to overseas owners.
Berkeley, which built The Corniche as well the buildings 250 City Road and One Tower Bridg elsewhere in the city, said at the time of the report: ‘These three developments make a huge contribution to London.
‘They provide 30 per cent affordable housing, great public space, local jobs, local shops, even a theatre. Berkeley also markets all its developments in the UK first and we rigorously comply with the money-laundering regulations.’
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘Police were called by the London Ambulance Service at 10.42am to reports of a man injured in Albert Embankment. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.’
The spokesman added: ‘At this early stage in the investigation, it is believed he was hit by something falling from a building. Officers remain at the scene. The Health and Safety Executive has been informed. Enquiries continue.’
The Corniche is one of a number of luxury apartment blocks built beside the River Thames. A spokesman for property developer St James said the company is investigating what happened
The victim was said to be passing underneath the newly completed block of flats on the Albert Embankment when the glass pane fell around 250ft
A Health and Safety Executive spokesman said: ‘HSE is aware of the incident at Albert Embankment and making initial enquiries alongside Met Police.’
London Ambulance Service confirmed it was called to the incident, and dispatched two motorcycle responders, a car and an ambulance.
‘Sadly, a person was dead at the scene,’ the spokesman said.
MailOnline has contacted Berkeley Group and Norman + Partners for comment.