Police investigating death of woman in her 30s after reportedly getting trapped in faulty garage door
A woman has died in a freak incident after reportedly getting caught in a garage door.
The woman, understood to be in her 40s, is thought to have got into difficulty while accessing the automatic rolling shutters to a private parking basement.
It’s believed she was visiting a friend who lives at the Ruth Bagnall Court in Cambridge, Cambs., at the time of the incident at around 7pm on Sunday.
It’s not known if she was leaving or entering the car park when the tragedy occurred.
Horrified residents told how they saw the woman’s feet hanging off the ground after hearing her friend screaming for help.
One woman who lives in the block and does not wish to be named, said: “I came outside because I saw the woman crying.
“I said ‘what’s the matter?’ and she said something had happened and she needed help.
“I went to look in the garage and saw her legs hanging. It was not a sight to want to remember. It was horrific and I’m doing my best to forget it.”
A man who also lives at the site said: “I do not think she lived here. She was visiting a friend I believe.
“She was hanging, that’s all I saw. It is a horrible situation. I saw it and it wasn’t nice.”
There are 72 flats in the four-storey block, which was built in 2004 as part of a £10.5m housing scheme to provide housing for key workers such as teachers and fire fighters.
Following their completion, the block was named after former Cambridge Labour councillor Ruth Bagnall, 38, who died from breast cancer in April 2004 after devoting her career to housing issues.
Most of the flats are now privately owned and are worth around £190,000, and many are rented out to private tenants who pay around £800-per-month in rent.
The block is managed by housing company Luminus, who residents yesterday (Mon) blamed for being slow to fix problems.
One man added: “I have lived here for five years and that door is always breaking. There is an automatic key fob that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.
“I don’t know how she got into trouble but the door is automatic and is supposed to stop when it catches on something for safety purposes.”
Another woman, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “I’ve been here for three years and there’s always problems.
“The garage door to the car parking is always breaking, so are the doors to the block of flats and people are always stealing bikes.”
The emergency services including police, paramedics, firefighters and the air ambulance were called to the scene.
A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: “We were called to reports of a sudden death of a woman in Ruth Bagnall Court, Coleridge Road, Cambridge at about 7.30pm on Sunday.
“The incident has been referred to the Health and Safety Executive.”
A spokesman for East of England Ambulance Service, said: “We were called at 7.25pm on Sunday after reports of a woman unconcious and not breathing.
“Sadly there was nothing that could be done for the patient and she died at the scene.
“The woman is believed to be in her 40s.”
Residents living at the block of flats have spoken of their horror over the freak incident.
One woman, who has lived in the block of flats for two years, said: “We were outside and we heard a crash, we thought it was an explosion.
“Then we saw this woman crying her eyes out and after that there were ambulances, police and firefighters everywhere.
“There’s a manual switch to open the gate on the inside and my boyfriend thinks that she must have put her hand through to push it and got in trouble.
“He doesn’t see how it’s possible though because he’s tried to do it before and he’s got long arms and he still didn’t manage.
“Maybe there was someone coming out at the same time and the gate opened and trapped her.”
One man, who has lived in the block of flats for six years, said: “We were downstairs in the garage and we was somebody hanging. I didn’t see very well because we were a long way away.
“There were police everywhere after that. They closed off the area but I cannot understand how this can happen.”
A man who lives next to the block and flats and comforted the woman’s female friend said: “She was distraught. It was horrible. I’m doing my best to forget about it.”