Closure for Ilkley mum 7 years on from son’s fatal fall: The mother of a window cleaner who fell to his death seven years ago yesterday said she felt a sense of closure after planting two trees to remember her son. Pat McPherson said it had been seven “heartbreaking” years since Stephen Wainwright died after falling from a fifth-floor balcony while cleaning windows at a block of flats in Wells Road, Ilkley.
But yesterday, Mrs McPherson planted two trees at Ilkley cemetery in honour of her popular son, who had been cleaning windows for 20 years when he died in March 2005. She said it was a good opportunity for friends and family to remember the 44-year-old Leeds United fan, after attempting to set up a memorial with the club over the years.
However, it was not possible and now Mrs McPherson said she was happy to plant the cherry blossom and acer trees in the cemetery grounds thanks to money donated from Mr Wainwright’s friends and his family over the years. “It’s been seven heartbreaking years,” she said. “All his friends collected money for him and they’ve been very good and still come round to see me now. “He had friends from the ages of 14 to 80 and the number of people who got in touch after he died has been amazing. “He would have liked this.”
Mr Wainwright was born in Otley and moved to Ilkley with his mum when he was six years old. He was a former pupil of Sacred Heart School and St Mary’s School, Menston. He later studied art at Keighley College. He liked being a window cleaner because it kept him outside. An inquest into Mr Wainwright’s death heard it was likely he had either been leaning on railings inside the balcony trying to clean a kitchen window or was on the outside of the balcony holding on to the rail.
Indonesian Maid Falls to Her Death in Singapore: An Indonesian maid fell 13 storeys to her death last Saturday while reportedly cleaning windows. The 23-year-old fell from her employer’s home in Pasir Ris Street 71. Residents told Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao that they heard a loud thud and saw a wooden bamboo clothes pole next to her body. Her employers declined to comment. A police spokesman said they were alerted to the incident at around 4:45 p.m. that day.
The maid was pronounced dead at the scene and the police have classified the incident as an unnatural death. Investigations are ongoing. Last month, a 28-year-old Indonesian maid fell seven floors from her employer’s Jurong East condominium after reportedly losing her balance while cleaning windows. Between 2006 and 2010, 27 maids died as a result of falls from heights. The figure includes accidental falls and suicides.
|Faced with a spate of falling deaths in the 1970s, New York City undertook a campaign over education and regulations that reduced the number of deaths from 40 to 50 annually to just four by 1980.|
Emirates act on window deaths: Sharjah saw four children plunge to their deaths in the space of two weeks in late November-early December. Two more followed in Abu Dhabi, one at the end of January 30 and again four days later. The three-year-old girl who plunged to her death in January from a fifth floor apartment at Airport Road in Abu Dhabi had nearly met her fate four weeks earlier, when she was rescued by a policeman who noticed her leaning out of a window in her home. Adults are not immune from the problem either: Last week, a 23-year-old Ethiopian cleaning woman met her death after falling. “Many people don’t use air conditioning, starting in December or November,” Michal Grivna, who teaches in the UAE University’s department of community medicine, told The Media Line. “When there is cooler weather they tend to open the windows instead of using air conditioning.”
At least two of the emirates are now doing something to address the phenomenon. Abu Dhabi’s Municipal Affairs Department announced on March 13 that it was giving homeowners six months to meet new standards of safety. These include rules that windows and balconies must not allow openings in excess of 10cm (4in). Locks and protective measures must also be in place for windows and openings that are less than 1.5m (5ft) above the apartment floor. A week earlier, Sharjah issued similar instructions, including a requirement that building owners increase the balcony height to at least 1.2m instead of 1m and that windows should be child-proof so that without the aid of an adult they could not be opened wide enough for a child to climb out.
|Fall: Alcides Moreno & wife Rosario.|
Miraculous survival stories: Window cleaning brothers Alcides and Edgar Moreno fell 47 stories when the cable securing their cleaning platform snapped in 2007. They had not been wearing safety harnesses as they washed the New York apartment building’s windows and after falling 500 feet Edgar, 30, was killed instantly. Married father-of-three Alcides, then 37, was left in a coma with multiple fractures of his ribs, right arm and both legs as well as damage to his spinal cord. Alcides not only made a full recovery but was able to walk again. Dr Philip Barrie, from New York-Presbyterian Hospital, said: “If you’re a believer in miracles, this would be one. I’ve seen it all – or at least I think I have – until something like this happens.”