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Man dies in tower block death plunge

PUBLISHED: 16:03 27 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:54 03 March 2010

A MAN tumbled to his death from an Ipswich tower block today falling 14 storeys to the concrete below.

Police initially screened off the spot where the victim landed after he plummeted from near the top of 16-storey St Francis Tower on Franciscan Way.

A MAN tumbled to his death from an Ipswich tower block today falling 14 storeys to the concrete below.

Police initially screened off the spot where the victim landed after he plummeted from near the top of 16-storey St Francis Tower on Franciscan Way.

Horrified drivers heading into town this morning watched in disbelief as the man, who is believed to have been aged around 30, hurtled to the paved area below the building, narrowly missing caretaker Bob Kerr by just a few feet.

Mr Kerr had been sweeping the ground near the entrance to the tower, and could have been killed if the body had hit him.

He said: "The body landed right next to me. It was the shock of my life."

A pale Mr Kerr was then taken to an ambulance to be treated for shock.

Other witnesses told of the loud thud the body made, as it hit concrete paving between three wheelie bins, at the base of the tower.

Jason Cansdale, 33, of Pembroke Close, Maidenhall, was driving into town to shop with his wife Julie, also 33, when the glanced up to see the body falling.

He said: "He came down like a rag doll. He fell really awkwardly. He seemed to have fallen from the stairwell which goes up the middle of the building."

He said: "The caretaker's colleague told me that he'd never heard such a loud thud," and added that the man had been wearing a dark blue jacket when he fell.

Police quickly shrouded off the macabre scene near the entrance to the block of flats, with green tarpaulin to screen the victim's landing place from passers-by.

They are not treating the death as suspicious.

Emergency services were alerted to the horror fall at around 9.45am, a police spokeswoman confirmed. The ambulance service later confirmed that the man had died.

After scenes of crime officers had visited the scene, the police tape and tarpaulin was later removed.

By 11.30am, the area where the body landed had been swept and hosed down.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said none of his neighbours knew the man who died. He added that the man was not thought to have lived in the tower.

Today's tragedy comes two years after a 34-year-old Paula Alder leapt to her death from the same tower block.

A verdict of suicide was recorded into the death of the woman who had taken an overdose of painkillers but survived, a fortnight before she was found at the bottom of the tower block on June 14, 1999.

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