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Description: Paramedics rushed to Peter Jones in Sloane Square this afternoon after the incident. Shoppers reported a 'sombre mood' after police set up an incident tent inside the store
Shoppers reveal horrific moment man in his 20s 'threw himself' from 5th floor escalator in Peter Jones department store in London
By Tom Kelly and Neil Sears and Harriet Sime for the Daily Mail 14:36 30 Dec 2014, updated 07:20 31 Dec 2014
- Man reportedly fell from fifth floor escalator after 1pm this afternoon
- Peter Jones department store is favourite of Duchess of Cambridge
- Incident took place in front of hundreds of horrified shoppers
- Man suffered head and chest injuries and is being treated in hospital
- Shopper said there was 'sombre mood' in the store after the accident
- Metropolitan Police spokesman said he is in 'a serious but stable condition'
Horrified shoppers saw a man fall 50ft from an escalator in one of London’s most famous department stores yesterday.
Witnesses described screaming and shouting as he plunged five storeys to the ground floor of Peter Jones.
The store in Sloane Square, Chelsea, was bustling with post-Christmas bargain hunters. Police erected a blue tent over the spot where he landed.
The unnamed man, believed to be in his early twenties, was said to have thrown himself backwards from the escalator. He was fighting for his life in hospital with multiple injuries last night.
Shoppers were asked to leave the store just after 1pm. One, Lydia Mensah, said: ‘I was on the first floor. I saw the immediate aftermath.
‘There was a commotion, screaming and shouting, and I saw the man lying on the floor. There was blood, but staff were crowding round the man and telling us to stand back.
‘Staff said he fell from the fifth floor to the ground floor. They were all very upset. One woman who witnessed it was taken away – she was shaking.’
Sara Halub, assistant manager at a shop opposite Peter Jones, said: ‘Lots of people came into the shop and were talking about what had happened.
‘I spoke to one lady who said he was going down the escalator and threw himself backwards off it and landed on his back.
‘She said he had made a hole in the ground and someone was by his side the whole time until the ambulance arrived.’
An assistant at another nearby shop added: ‘Two ambulances pulled up outside around 1pm, then the shop closed.
A shopper in the store after the incident said there was a 'sombre atmosphere' among staff and customers It is thought the man fell from an escalator around 1pm this lunchtime. He has been taken to hospital
An Italian man who had been shopping with his wife said: ‘I was told a young man threw himself from the fifth floor, down the side of the escalators.
One shopper who was in the store said: ‘There was a very sombre atmosphere and staff were standing next to railings asking people not to look over.
‘There was an ambulance and police cars outside when I arrived and when I went inside I saw that all of the escalators had been switched off.’
The store, owned by the John Lewis Partnership, is in a 1930s grade II listed building that was refurbished in 2004.
A spokesman said: ‘Officers, paramedics and London’s Air Ambulance attended and the man, believed to be in his 20s, was taken to hospital suffering multiple injuries that are thought to be life threatening at this stage.
A John Lewis spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that police were called to our Peter Jones shop at 1.05pm following a serious customer incident.
‘Police and London ambulance service attended the scene and John Lewis continues to work with the relevant authorities.’