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Caretaker's trauma over death plunge

PUBLISHED: 16:36 28 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:56 03 March 2010

THE caretaker of an Ipswich tower block today spoke of his trauma following yesterday's horrific events that saw a man plunge 14 storeys to his death.

Police today named the man who died as Edmund John Lush - a 28-year-old who lived in St Francis Tower.

THE caretaker of an Ipswich tower block today spoke of his trauma following yesterday's horrific events that saw a man plunge 14 storeys to his death.

Police today named the man who died as Edmund John Lush – a 28-year-old who lived in St Francis Tower.

As he fell Mr Lush narrowly missed Bob Kerr, 33, who was sweeping up leaves, as he plummeted on to the pavement below.

"I heard a crash behind me and I turned round and – bang – there he was," said the father-of-four who was first on the scene. "It was the shock of my life. I just ran the other way to tell a couple of my colleagues."

Horrified passers-by had seen a man hurtle "like a rag doll" to his death at St Francis Tower, Franciscan Way yesterday shortly before 10am.

The corpse lay between wheelie bins at the foot of the 16-storey tower. Emergency services later screened off the area as they took away Mr Lush's body.

The pile of leaves and rubbish Mr Kerr had been sweeping up at the fateful moment continues to lie uncollected as the caretaker, who has worked at the tower block for four years, struggles to come to terms with the grim incident.

"I'm still a bit shaky," he said, following treatment for shock. "I've been told I can go home and I think I will. But I need to bite the bullet and carry on, taking each day at a time."

He said that St Francis tenants, and his bosses at EWS Management, had been very supportive.

But this is the second time Mr Kerr has come face to face with tragic high-rise deaths at the towerblock. With security guard Bernard Jude – who yesterday was also on hand to deal with the immediate aftermath of the death plunge – he was one of the first to discover the body of Paula Alder, who fell to her death two years ago.

"I'm gutted that this has happened again when we are trying to clean up the tower's image in Ipswich," said Mr Kerr, of Britannia Road. "We've increased security and we're trying to improve the building," he said.

Police are not treating Mr Lush's death as suspicious.

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