A woman fighting for life after being crushed by a pallet of bricks that fell 70ft from a crane as she walked past a building site is a young mother who had just dropped her child off at school, MailOnline has learned.
Passers-by rushed to help the 29-year-old woman from East London as she lay unconscious on the pavement yesterday morning among bricks and broken wood.
The woman is understood to have dropped off her young son at St Paul’s and St Luke’s Church of England Primary School, which is across the road from the building site in Mile End.
She is still in a critical condition in hospital while work at the development appears to have been paused with a Health and Safety Executive investigation ongoing.
A woman remains in critical condition in hospital after being struck by bricks and falling debris, pictured, which tumbled 70ft from a crane at a building site in Mile End
Work appears to have halted at the site in Burdett Road, pictured, while a Health and Safety Executive investigation is ongoing
The site has been cleared although some evidence of the horrific accident remains
Mother Bernadette Hegarty, vicar of St Paul’s of Bow Common Church, which is attached to the school, rushed to the scene minutes after the accident at about 9.30am.
The vicar told how paramedics brought the young woman back to life after suffering multiple injuries.
Mother Bernadette told MailOnline: ‘The young woman looked very wounded. The paramedics brought her back.
‘I sat down and prayed with her as the paramedics worked to bring her back. The Ambulance Service worked very hard and they managed to bring her back [to life].
‘She is now critical in hospital. I did not see the accident but I went over to comfort her after I heard what had happened.’
The young mother is believed to have been on her way to a local supermarket when the pallet of bricks fell upon her.
Prayers will be offered for the young woman at a Maundy Thursday Service and at Good Friday Service at Bow Common Church.
Mother Bernadette told MailOnline: ‘She is a well-liked member of the community. I know her to say hello to. We are all in deep shock by what has happened, as are the workers on the building site.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the young woman and her family at this difficult time.’
Another parent from St Luke’s Church of England Primary School described the young woman as a ‘lovely girl’. She added: ‘We are all devastated by what happened.’
Meanwhile local politicians have slammed safety conditions at the site, claiming barriers should have been put in place.
Paramedics took the woman to hospital with severe injuries after the incident in East London
Th is is basket on the crane from which the pallet of bricks is believed to have fallen
Pictured: The aftermath of the bricks which fell around 70ft from the crane in Mile End
Mile End councillor Shah Alam, who lives just a few doors down from where the accident took place, said he raised health and safety concerns with the local Tower Hamlets Council after the incident.
He said: ‘They have been working here for eight months but they have never had any hazard notices or barriers to protect people. There were no staff present while the crane operated overhead.
‘There are three primary schools nearby, a nursery, a church and a mosque. My neighbour doesn’t feel safe walking her children to school.’
Officers attended the scene at 9.38am, where bystanders were helping the woman after she was spotted lying in a pile of rubble and broken wood on Burdett Road, Tower Hamlets.
Paramedics took the woman to hospital after the incident outside Bow Corner, a new development of luxury flats. A second person was also taken to hospital.
Witness Alan Harris, who owns go-kart track Revolution Karting that faces the development, said he rushed over to see what had happened after hearing a ‘loud bang.’
‘One woman was out cold underneath the bricks and another woman next to her was screaming hysterically for an ambulance and looking up into the heavens,’ he told the East London Advertiser.
Mr Harris said it wasn’t clear if the two women were together.
Scotland Yard said the woman appeared to have been injured by the debris after 9.30am yesterday
The woman remains in a critical condition after being hit by a pile of bricks in East London
The 72-year-old said he called for ambulance and indicated ‘the seriousness of the situation’ to the operator.
Witness Aladdin Rahman said: ‘My friend who’s a bus driver and was driving a bus at the time it happened, said that some bricks had fallen on the woman.
‘Several people were trying to get to the lady and so were the construction workers. It was a hectic scene at the time.’
Pedestrians on Burdett Road caught the aftermath of the accident on video,
Bricks could be seen scattered around the victim as she lay on the pavement with bystanders giving her first aid next a building site.
The London Ambulance Service later took the woman to an east London hospital where she remains in a critical condition, Metropolitan Police said.
A man was also treated for shock and forensic investigators remain at the scene.
A Health and Safety Executive spokesman said: ‘Inspectors have attended the site and are making ongoing enquiries in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police to investigate the circumstances of the incident.
‘As the investigation is ongoing we are unable to comment further at this time.’
The basket on the crane can be seen following the shocking incident at the building site
The incident happened next to the Bow Corner housing construction in East London
Bow Corner is a development of 19 one, two and three bedroom apartments by Higgins Homes that is expected to be completed this year.
One beds start from £435,000, two beds from £545,000 and three beds from £650,000.
Steve Boreham, construction director of Higgins Homes, said: ‘Our primary thoughts and concerns are with the lady who has been injured and those affected today.
‘We are working with the Health and Safety Executive who are investigating the incident to determine the cause and will release more information as soon as it’s available. Our priority at the moment is of course to make the area safe.’
Local road closures were put in place while emergency services dealt with events.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘Police in Tower Hamlets are dealing after a woman was injured by falling debris.
Bow Corner in East London is a development of 19 one, two and three bedroom apartments
Police in Tower Hamlets were called after the woman was injured by falling debris, with the scene cordoned off for much of the day
‘Officers were called at 9.38am. A woman has apparently been struck by debris falling from a building site crane.
‘London Ambulance Service attended and the woman was taken to an east London hospital in a critical condition. Her next of kin have been informed.’
A London Ambulance Service spokesman added: ‘We were called at 9:38am today to E14 to reports of an incident.
‘We sent a number of resources to the scene including an incident response officer, a motorcycle responder, two single responders in cars and two ambulance crews. We also dispatched London’s Air Ambulance by car.
‘We treated a woman at the scene for serious injuries and took her as a priority to a major trauma centre. We also took a second person to hospital.’