Billboard Crushes Woman

A woman's been injured after a giant metal billboard fell from the side of a three storey building in Tooting.

The woman, thought to be in her thirties, was taken to hospital with hip and leg injuries after the sign hit her at around 7.30am on Tuesday 12 May 2015, just yards from where hundreds of commuters were making their way to work.

The heavy steel billboard is thought to have been put up just two weeks ago, next to flats above an Age UK charity shop on the corner of Mellison Road and Mitcham Road, near Tooting Broadway Underground station.

Rubble was left strewn across the pavement and the billboard, along with heavy steel joists used to attach it to the building, lay across the path and in the road.

Residents have questioned whether the joints used to fix it in place were too weak.

Edward Phillips, who lives in Mellison Road and is a homeware supervisor at Morleys department store, opposite where the hoarding fell, said it was lucky the incident was not more serious.

He said: "It is extremely large, heavy and is steel as well. It would have fallen from about 20ft off the ground so it could have easily killed somebody.

"Some children go to a local school up that way and there could have been a lot of children out if it had been a bit later, and people also go to work down that road to get to the Tube and bus stops.

"We are not sure what happened but the whole thing came away from the wall where it was attached.

"It was only put up a few weeks ago. It was put up in segments, so whether it was too heavy for the wall I don't know. Some of the wall came away with it so we are not too sure if the joints were too weak.

"It is lucky that nobody was killed - it could have done serious damage to any person or vehicle."

The woman, who was not trapped, was taken to nearby St George's Hospital. The scene was cordoned off and fire crews made the area safe.

Kevin McKenzie, a London Fire Brigade station manager who was at the scene, said: "This could have been a much more serious incident. It is extremely lucky that there weren't more people underneath it, cars parked or major utility networks."

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police added: "Police were called at 7.35am to reports of a fallen billboard which had injured a woman.

"The ambulance, fire brigade and ourselves attended, and the woman, who is believed to be in her 30s, was taken to hospital with minor injuries."

The Health and Safety Executive has also been informed.

The hoarding was later moved on to a flat-bed lorry and taken away.

Commuters said the incident caused traffic delays and "massive queues".

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