People living in panic after a window fell from the 13th floor of the collapsing tower block.
Minutes before the bell rang for the end of the day, the glass pane fell 140 feet on the sidewalk outside Costa Coffee and across the street from the elementary school.
Terrible footage shows “it’s raining” before scattering at the base of Colliers Wood Tower to the south London last Monday.
The occupants of the building have since told how they are afraid that more glass will fall while someone is down.
Some say that after years of maintenance issues – including broken lifts and no hot water – it’s the last straw and they’re looking to move out.
And parents from nearby Singlegate Primary School have told how they would refuse to let their kids anywhere near the 182-apartment block until every window was checked.
Georgia Pethrick, a nurse who has lived in the building for two years, said: “The video is shocking. If he hit someone he would have killed them or cut someone’s neck in one piece.
“The building managers are so lucky, no one was down.
“It would have bitten someone. It’s really scary, I’m really worried.”
The 31-year-old, who pays £775 a month for a room and encloses a two-bed flat, said: “It’s very panic-inducing, but the building as a whole has always been a real problem.
“I went a week without hot water last winter. It was really bad. And there are persistent issues.
“It’s such a beautiful flat inside, but would we bear it if it wasn’t so nice and beautiful and trendy?”
Tom Wegrzin, who also lives in a two-bed flat in the building, agreed that things needed to change — and said that the windows falling outside might prompt him to move on.
The 39-year-old, who pays £1,550 a month in rent, said: “I was at work when it happened but my partner was getting ready and heard a huge crack and glass falling.
“We’re really worried now that this could happen with the windows in our flat, and we wouldn’t walk downstairs.
“I love the area and it’s so close to the tube station and so convenient with all the shops and restaurants, but I think it might be time to move out of the building.”
Retailer employee Tom said: “Last year I lived on the 13th floor and had a problem with sprinklers, which flooded seven floors and nobody did anything about it.
“I’ve lived here for four years and everything has really always been flawless. There’s something new every day.
“There have been broken windows for months, really bad cracks everywhere, and elevators sometimes shut down for 10 weeks.”
It must have bitten someone. It’s really scary, I’m really worried.
Other tenants complained that the aisle lights always broke, while many criticized how quickly maintenance issues were dealt with.
But they all agreed it was a “miracle” that no one was hurt when a window collapsed in a normally busy area of High Street Colliers Wood last week.
One woman, who lives on one of the floors between Britannia Point and wished to remain anonymous, said: “The place where we usually smoke is exactly where the glass fell.
“I was there for two hours before it happened and I was like, ‘Hey I’m lucky’.
“I’m glad no one got hurt because I could easily have coffee in Costa and the window was falling on me.”
She also said that it was “about time” someone finally took care of the building as it had been “neglected for years”.
“I think they should offer us a reduction in rent because of this and everything else,” she said.
Dacio Vasconcelos, 33, has been living in his £1,500-a-month flat for four years and spent his first two there without any heating.
The hospitality professional who works for Gordon Ramsay also lives with a broken window, which is so broken that he can “feel the oncoming wind” for the past three years, and wakes up almost every morning to find someone warm. there is no water.
Another tenant, who gave his name only as Jess, returned to his £1,600-a-month flat after a week and was shocked to find the area surrounded by scores of police and council workers.
The woman, who has been living alone in the two-bed flat for two months, said, “To be honest, I was a little surprised. It is disturbing.
“I literally turn back and go ‘Oh my god, what’s going on?’ It was like. I was worried, and I think they’ve got a few more cracks now.”
‘Ignored for years’
As well as a branch of Costa, there is a small cooperative at the base of the building.
Arvind Chandrashekhar, a 24-year-old sales assistant who has been working there for two years, said: “I was in the warehouse and I heard a noise like breaking of ice, so I went outside and after a few seconds the whole glass fell down.
“It was scattered all over the field. There were a lot of people standing in shock.
“Kids play here all the time and it happened 10 minutes before school closed.”
Many of the children he referred went on to attend Singlegate Primary, which sits just a few feet from where the glass fell.
Concerned parents have said that they will now avoid the road altogether unless every window is inspected.
Mum Eve Geraghty, 37, said: “I have two kids and I shop there regularly so it’s very worrying.
“I would avoid this area completely until the issue is resolved.”
Dad Ziyad Akhlaq, 32, said: “If I’m with my kids, I’ll keep them away from the building.”
I live on the other side of the building, but I’ll continue to drive a long way just in case.
Noreen Pazir, who has children at the school, said: “We are concerned. I live on the other side of the building, but I will continue to drive the long way just in case.
“Even if the council says the problem is fixed, I would certainly avoid walking under glass.”
And father Chris Sibson, 43, said: “The video was shocking. I feel for the people who live there.
“It’s very fortunate that no one was under it at the time. So many people crossed it by tube.”
Children also get upset hearing about this in school.
Dad-of-one Tomas Adamkiewicz, 40, whose 11-year-old attends Singlegate, said: “There were glass all over the floor just outside Costa Coffee where the kids play all the time.
“I’m really worried about getting anywhere in there, especially now that more cracks are being exposed.
“My daughter is worried too. She sometimes goes home on her own and she calls me during the day and says ‘dad kuch hua hai’ so I told her to go straight home. It was scary.”
Hotel reception manager Silbia Razka, who was sitting outside Costa at the time, said she was “grateful” that her children were still in class.
The 43-year-old said: “It was terrifying. At first the small pieces started falling down and then the rest came down.”
Locals have speculated as to what may have caused the plank to fall, suggesting that a bird could have hit it or that the gum could have melted in the sun.
But Colliers Wood resident Branwyn Darlington, who is in his late 40s, thinks the building has been “a mess for years” and is “unbelievable” that it could have been a bird.
“We were joking that it must have been the size of a pterodactyl,” she said.
Several days after the glass fell, the council and the building management company sealed off the area and began an abseil inspection to check every pane of glass for issues.
The next day after safety tests, cracks were identified on other glass panes and the security cover was increased.
A council spokesman said today that it was no longer coordinating the operation – which was due to end on Monday – but that it became involved because of wider security interests in the region.
Criterion Capital, which manages the building, has been contacted for comment.
The building manager previously told residents: “On behalf of Criterion Hospitality, I apologize if this incident gave tenants a sense of insecurity and insecurity.”