A five-year-old Afghan refugee whose father is believed to have worked for the British Embassy in Kabul has fallen 70 feet to his death from a hotel window in Sheffield.
South Yorkshire Police are appealing for information following the boy’s death at the Sheffield OYO Metropolitan Hotel in Blonk Street at about 2.30pm yesterday.
It is believed the boy had been staying at the hotel with his mother, father, two brothers and two sisters since arriving in the UK from Afghanistan just days ago.
Inspectors could be seen opening hotel windows revealing that some left a 1ft 6in gap, which a child could easily climb though.
The OYO hotel is a temporary home to several Afghan families and on its TripAdvisor page one guest said their booking was cancelled because the hotel is now housing refugees.
It is believed the boy’s father is a senior humanitarian manager called Omar Majeedi who worked in the British Embassy in Kabul until recently when the Taliban took power of the country.
One resident Qahar Haqjo, 32, served as an interpreter with the British Army in Afghanistan for two years, and arrived in the UK with his family on 27 July.
The boy fell out from a window and suffered fatal injuries (file photo of OYO Sheffield Metropolitan Hotel)
Emergency services were called to the OYO Sheffield Metropolitan Hotel on Blonk Street in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, at around 2.30pm yesterday (scene pictured above)
He said: ‘The boy is from Afghanistan. His father was not inside but he was living with his mother.
‘It happened at around 2pm and he fell from the ninth floor at the back of the hotel. He can’t have been in England very many weeks.
‘We spent two weeks in quarantine in Manchester and moved into this hotel five days ago.’
A fellow refugee staying at the hotel told YorkshireLive the boy arrived in Sheffield four days ago after escaping the advances of the Taliban in his homeland.
‘They came here to save their lives and now this has happened,’ he said. ‘It is so sad.’
‘I heard a big loud noise and then a couple of seconds later I heard the mother screaming, ”my boy!”’ said one of the guests.
Another interpreter, 35, went to hospital with the boy’s mother. He told the Sun: ‘There was a crowd and there was shouting. I saw out the window there was a child fallen down.
‘The hotel colleagues were also present and they told me he had fallen down from the ninth floor.’
The boy’s mother told him that the boy had been standing close to the window looking at the ground below.
A former colleague of Mr Majeedi in Kabul told the publication: ‘When I was at the airport saying goodbye to Majeedi, I just hugged his small kid. I remember he was doing childish acts.
‘I can’t understand how this happened. I am shocked.’
A member of the city’s Afghan Community Association, named only as Zabi, said: ‘It is very sad.
‘We are looking to go to see the family to help them.’
It is believed the boy fell about 70ft from the top floor window into an NCP car park.
South Yorkshire Police at the scene of the death of a young boy outside the OYO Metropolitan Hotel in Sheffield
Police vehicles were still in situ and security guards in hi vis jackets were turning people away at the main entrance and patrolling the stairwell today
Sheffield City Council health and safety officers were last night seen inspecting the several more hotel windows which they were able to open leaving a 1ft 6in gap at the bottom when they pivot open.
Police vehicles were still in situ and security guards in hi vis jackets were turning people away at the main entrance and patrolling the stairwell today.
The boy’s family are being supported by specially trained officers.
No formal identification has taken place yet.
Officers are appealing for anyone with information to come forward. Any witnesses, or anyone who has information, should call 101.