Hackney hostel death: Call for answers over young woman’s horror fall
- Credit: Archant
A young woman has lost her life in a horror fall from an “illegal hostel” in Hackney - in a case that has prompted calls for an investigation into conditions at the building.
The woman, named locally only as Marianna, plummeted onto a glass roof and allegedly lay for 45 minutes before falling a second time to the ground in front of her distraught husband.
Police confirmed she fell from a building in Westgate Street, London Fields, at 4.15pm on Sunday.
The council said it had received allegations that the building has been operating as an “illegal hostel for over four years”.
Architect John Leetch, whose business has offices next door, said: “We are very disturbed by the events and feel something urgently needs to be done.”
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Witnesses say the woman was hauled onto an un-shattered glass pane after the first fall.
Another hostel resident risked her own safety to go outside and comfort her.
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But emergency services could not reach her.
A Hackney Council spokesman said: “We understand there are bunk beds crowded into each of the rooms and they are rented for £90 a week.
“We understand that the owner does not have a licence to operate the premises as a hostel and that complaints been made to Hackney Council in the past.”
The Gazette found a listing for the property on bookings.com showing pictures of three rooms, two furnished with bunk-beds, although it is not currently taking reservations.
Mr Leetch’s landlord Terence McClure said: “The tragic death of this woman just demonstrates how wrong it is for vulnerable people to be housed in such conditions.”
The Gazette was unable to reach the landlord of the hostel for comment.
Hackney Council inspected the property in August last year.
Despite the recent allegations they found no evidence at that time of it being used as a hostel.
The spokesman said: “We found it was being used as a house of multiple occupation, but did not meet the threshold to require a license under national guidance. There was no evidence it was being used a hostel.”