Customers describe Hackney Wick bar collapse: ‘I was worried I would see a dead body’

Customers scramble for safety in the wreckage. Pic: Harriet McMahon

Customers of a Hackney Wick bar have described their frightening experiences after the floor suddenly collapsed.

The mezzanine floor of the Two More Years bar collapsed last Saturday afternoon.

The collapse was declared a major incident by the London Ambulance Service and thirteen people were injured, with four taken to hospital.

One customer, Harriet McMahon, 29, said she was sitting directly underneath the mezzanine when the structure collapsed.

She told the BBC: “My boyfriend said there was some creaking – then there was a loud bang.”

“I tried to jump to safety but got hit by some falling stuff and we were just on the floor…I remember seeing the whole of the roof just coming towards us.”

“When the dust settled we were too scared to look around because I worried I would see a dead person.”

Customers helping each other to escape. Pic: Kristian Sakulku

A group of friends that were involved in the floor collapse told Sky News it was “traumatic”. They were at the bar for less than 10 minutes when the incident occurred.

Kristian Sakulku, 28, was downstairs at the edge of the mezzanine when it happened and told Sky News that he saw a “puff of dust” before it gave way.

Eight of his friends fell through the floor.

Rakim Mitchell, 28, was among them and said he heard a “big crunch” and felt the floor move under his feet.

“Before you could make any thought we were falling,” he told Sky News.

The group said people were piled under the rubble and that they thought their lives were in danger, until they realised others around them were breathing.

Customers at the bar helped each other to escape by removing glass, wood and benches before emergency services arrived.

Maya Welford, 26, described the incident as “traumatic” and told Sky News she wants compensation.

“You don’t go to a pub and ever expect the floor to fall underneath your feet,” she said.

“We just need something to compensate for that. Someone needs to take responsibility. We didn’t go skydiving, nothing risky, it was just a very normal activity.”

She was treated at Homerton Hospital for bruising to her head and back, as well as a bleeding ear.

Her friend, Tom Lombard, 26, was trapped under a bench and is on crutches with a severely bruised ankle.

EastLondonLines has contacted Two More Years for comment but has not received a reply.

However, it has announced on its Instagram page that it would remain closed “for now”, adding: “Our thoughts are with everyone that has been affected.”

A spokesman for Tower Hamlets Council said: “We are continuing to work with the emergency services and a structural engineer has been on site to assess the integrity of the privately owned building.”

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