AN 85-year-old Stockton woman says she was “two steps” from death when a window fell from the second storey of a work site in Newcastle on Wednesday.
June Daniels was waiting to catch a bus outside the old Bond Store on the corner of Perkins and King Streets when a “huge window with very thick glass” crashed onto the gutter less than a metre away.
“Another two steps and I’d have been dead, I could not have survived it,” Mrs Daniels said. “The glass was so thick and sharp.
“A bus had pulled up on the corner, and it was just out a little bit from the curb. The window fell down right on the lip of the gutter.
“There was glass everywhere.”
The building is in the process of being converted into Ireland’s Bond 1884, a “boutique development” of 25 apartments.
“I looked up and there was a chap leaning out,” Mrs Daniels said.
“The bus driver got a shock too. I started to shake and feel a bit crook.”
Mrs Daniels said one of the workers, who checked that she was alright, told her the screws holding the window had come loose.
“I wasn’t hurt, but I think it was just the shock of knowing I was one or two steps away from death,” Mrs Daniels said.
“Seeing all this glass that nearly hit me, hearing it fall – thank God it didn’t hit anybody.”
Mrs Daniels’ daughter, Lynette Lambert, said her mother had a lucky escape from a dangerous situation.
“There is so much work – council work, and renovation work – going on around Newcastle at the moment, it seems to be becoming a work, health and safety nightmare,” she said.
“A lot of the pathways are blocked, there is re-routing all around the place – it’s really difficult to find your way into town, especially for the elderly.”
Paul Scott did not see the window fall, but he heard it land.
The University of Newcastle lecturer, and Newcastle Herald columnist, was walking on the opposite side of the road when he heard the glass smash.
“I went over to help – it was like she had just gotten out of a cold bath, she was shivering that much,” Mr Scott said.
“She was pretty shaken.
“It missed her by less than a metre.”
Mr Scott, who took photographs and video footage at the scene, has since reported the matter to SafeWork NSW.
“Some workers came down and started sweeping it up. I thought I better photograph it because it was a SafeWork matter,” he said.
“If it had hit her, it would have killed her.
“That is not an over-dramatisation. This was a dirty great big window that fell from the second storey.”