A woman visiting St Paul’s Cathedral in London on Wednesday morning fell to hear death from the Whispering Gallery inside the historic place of worship, plunging nearly 100 feet from the high balcony and landing on the floor of the cathedral.
The incident took place at around 10:30 am local time and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The Cathedral is deeply saddened at the death of a visitor on the morning of October 11,” St Paul’s Cathedral said in a statement. “First aid trained staff were immediately at the scene and police and paramedics arrived within minutes.”
“Although robust procedures for emergency situations are in place at St Paul’s and today’s response bore that out, it does not lessen the shock we feel as a close community, especially for those of us who witnessed and responded to this incident,” the statement continued. “We hold also in our thoughts those visitors within the Cathedral at the time.”
The Whispering Galley of St Paul’s Cathedral runs around the interior of the building’s famed dome, standing 257 steps up from the floor of the cathedral at a height of about 98 feet. It is named for the unusual way that sound travels throughout the gallery because of its circular wall.
St Paul’s Cathedral was closed for the rest of the day and the Annual National Service For Seafarers, which was scheduled for 5:00 pm, was cancelled. The cathedral will reopen as normal tomorrow at 7:30 am.
“We think and pray especially for the woman who died, and for all those who were close to her and who loved and cared for her,” St Paul’s Cathedral said.