Shoppers watched in horror as a woman fell to her death from a third-floor balcony in Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre.
The woman, believed to be aged in her 40s, fell 100ft from the balcony outside Selfridges in the East Mall yesterday lunchtime.
She is the second person to die in a fall at the showpiece mall in just five months.
In June a 33-year-old man was killed when he climbed onto a balcony outside Debenhams in the West Mall and fell to the ground.
After the second tragedy yesterday, Bullring bosses said they will launch another investigation into how safety measures can be improved.
The drama happened at 1.30pm when the centre was packed with thousands of people starting their Christmas shopping.
Fans of Steps had also travelled to the shopping centre, with the pop group signing copies of their new album at HMW in the adjacent West Mall.
One horrified shopper said: “I heard from someone who saw it that she just climbed onto the balcony and threw herself off.
“He said she looked Chinese or Oriental and that it was the worst thing he’s ever seen.
‘‘Everyone was screaming and crying.”
The East Mall was immediately closed and the scene sealed off and emergency services called.
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “A woman, believed to be in her 40s, has died after falling from an elevated section inside Birmingham’s Bullring.
“Police were alerted to the incident at 1.31pm and East Mall was closed while police established the circumstances of the incident, but has since re-opened.
“Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with her death and are not treating it as suspicious. The matter has now been referred to the coroner.”
The mall re-opened shortly after 2.30pm and shoppers allowed back in.
Selfridges remained closed while a white forensics tent covered the area, guarded by several uniformed police officers.
Selfridges released a statement by Twitter saying: “We are deeply saddened by the incident which took place at the Bullring today. Our thoughts are with family and friends concerned.”
A spokeswoman for the Bullring said following the first death in June they completed an internal review of their procedures.
“This review found that all safety procedures were correctly followed and compliant with regulations,” she said.
“A separate review will be carried out following today’s incident.”
*Anyone in need of emotional support can call the Samaritans at any time of the day or night on 08457 909 090. Details are also available at www.samaritans.org