Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Briton survives 15-floor plunge

17 June 2013, 15:01

Wellington - A British man who survived a fall from a 15th-storey apartment balcony in New Zealand was "extraordinarily" lucky to be alive, officials said on Monday.

The 20-year-old, named in local media as Tom Stilwell from the English town of Brighton, was in a stable condition after his plunge in the early hours of Sunday morning, Auckland Central Hospital said.

Police said he was out with friends over the weekend and found he was locked out of his 14th floor flat when he returned home.

He woke a neighbour on the 15th floor, telling her he wanted to clamber down from her balcony onto his own.

The neighbour, Geraldine Bautista, said the man appeared "tipsy" and she allowed him into her apartment, intending to point out to him how foolhardy his plan was.

Instead, she said he immediately tried to lower himself from the balcony and slipped as she tried to grab hold of him.

"I thought I was dreaming. It happened so fast. It happened within seconds," she told the New Zealand Herald. "I couldn't even scream for help."

St John Ambulance medical director Tony Smith said the man's fall was broken by an adjacent roof, although he still dropped 13 storeys.

"From that sort of height you can have injuries to everything and anything," he told the Herald. "Survival from falls of that height are extraordinarily unusual."

Stilwell suffered back and neck fractures as well as internal injuries, a broken wrist and grazes, but was awake and able to laugh about his ordeal, his flatmate Beth Goodwin told Fairfax Media.

"He looks alright," she said, adding that Stillwell could remember nothing about the fall.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...