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Aluminium panel falls as Westfield shopping centre opens

A large Aluminium ceiling panel fell just 10 metres away from London mayor Boris Johnson during the opening of the £1.8 billion Westfield Stratford City shopping mall yesterday (13 September)

The 1.4 metre by 0.75 metre tile fell to the ground causing a loud noise which surprised the Mayor, according to reports. Crowds had gathered nearby to watch a performance by Nicole Scherzinger earlier on but had dispersed and nobody was hurt.

Johnson brushed off the incident and speculated that whatever happened would be ‘cleared up as soon as possible’.

A spokesperson for mall owner Westfield Group said: ‘We have had an absolutely fantastic launch today with shoppers turning up in their thousands to watch an incredible performance by global superstar Nicole Scherzinger.

‘After the performance had finished and guests had moved onto a different part of the centre, a ceiling tile fell on to an empty part of the mall. No-one was touched and the area has already been cleared.’

The panel was part of a ceiling on the 176,500m² shopping centre.

Completed by executive architect the Buchan Group, the landmark project includes a hotel by Bennetts Associates, a Marks & Spencer’s store by Apa Architects, a John Lewis by Crispin Wride Architectual Design Studio, another hotel by HKR and offices by Fletcher Priest Architects.

Visitors arriving to the 312 hectare London 2012 Olympic Park from Stratford train station will travel through the shopping centre which is expected to serve 4 million people in its ‘catchment’ area.

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