Crushed man ‘tried to shield sister’

Posted: March 29, 2013 by Rizwan Riyad in News, world
Tags: , , , ,

The man who died when a wall collapsed in Carlton on Thursday was a former school captain from Montmorency Secondary College.

Alexander Jones died when a heritage-protected wall toppled in strong winds about 3pm.

Police confirmed the deceased man was a 19-year-old from Montmorency. The collapsed wall also killed a woman in her 30s.

A teenage girl, who suffered life-threatening injuries and remains in a critical condition in the Royal Melbourne Hospital is an 18-year-old, also from Montmorency. She is believed to be Mr Jones’ sister.

Alexander Jones moved immediately to shield his sister when the wall collapsed

Alexander Jones moved immediately to shield his sister when the wall collapsed

Channel 9 reported on Friday that Mr Jones’ family said he moved immediately to shield his sister when the wall collapsed.

Friends on Facebook featured photographs of Mr Jones in their profile pictures in an apparent tribute to the teenager. Mr Jones was reportedly popular and well-liked.

WorkSafe and police are investigating the incident. The red brick wall, about 2.4 metres high, toppled onto the footpath on the western side of Swanston street. The collapsed segment was about 15 metres long.

Locals walking past the site on Friday morning expressed their shock. One, Aruna Prasad, left a teddy bear and chocolate carrot in honour of the victims.

“It just bought tears to my eyes because I’m a mother and a grandmother and I pass this way to go to the market all the time … and it just hurt me because they are all young people,” she said. “It’s very sad.”

Others left flowers. Several residents described it as an accident waiting to happen.

Fitzroy resident Peter Coyle said he could not believe what had happened.

“This place looks like Uluru,” he said of the red dust that now covers the footpath where the brick wall crumbled to the ground.

Police are appealing for any witnesses who saw the incident, or who were injured when the wall collapsed, to come forward.

Police believe several other people suffered injuries but left the scene before speaking to authorities.

“Our advice from the fire brigade is that there were other people injured but those people have left the scene through fear of remaining… in that they weren’t entirely sure what the incident was, whether it was a wall collapsing or something on a larger scale,” said Detective Senior Constable Brooke Manley from the Melbourne North Crime Investigation Unit.

“So they’ve cleared the area and we haven’t been able to identify those people.”

She said other witnesses may be able to provide further information or footage documenting what occurred.

“Other witnesses may have seen something else or be further able to assist us with not only witness accounts, but in this day and age with a lot of mobile phone devices and things like that, possibly footage,” she said.

Detective Manley described the incident as “horrendous” and said Victoria Police was working with WorkSafe to prepare a report for the coroner.

“It’s an unfortunate very tragic accident that’s occurred on the eve of a long weekend. The families involved are devastated,” she said.

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