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Tahnie Martin inquest: Jury concludes wooden panel that hit Storm Doris victim became detached through 'absence of maintenance'

Stafford | News | Published:

A wooden panel that fell from the roof of a building killing a woman, became 'detached by absence of maintenance' an inquest has concluded.

Tahnie Martin and, right, the panel that struck her

Tahnie Martin, 29, died after she was struck by the falling panel in Wolverhampton's Dudley Street earlier this year during Storm Doris.

Assistant Coroner Emma Whitting said that she would be writing to Royal Institution Of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in a bid to prevent future deaths.

A narrative conclusion read out by the jury stated: "The large heavy panel that struck her became detached from the roof due to strong winds by Storm Doris.

"It became detached by the absence of maintenance that resulted in bad rot and corroded and defective fixtures."

Solicitor Deborah Robinson gave a short statement outside court from the family in which they thanked their legal team and staff at Wolverhampton City Council for their help and support.

The panel was part of a water tank structure on top of the plant room roof at the Black Rock building, which is part of the Mander Centre.

During the storm, the panel split in two with one piece moved by the wind to the roof of the O2 shop whilst the other fell to the ground in front of Starbucks on February 23 – striking Ms Martin.

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The 29 year old, from Stafford, worked at the University of Wolverhampton.

The court heard earlier this week that the panel had been the 'the most rotten' an expert had ever seen.

Assistant Coroner Emma Whitting said: "I will be writing to the Royal Institution Of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) raising concerns that there is no mandatory requirement for surveyors to indicate that some areas of a building may not have been accessed as part of a survey."

Speaking to the family, Ms Whitting paid heartfelt tribute to Tahnie, adding: "This was a senseless death of a beautiful young woman who was just about to embark on a new phase in her life."

City of Wolverhampton Council bosses say that they will continue to investigate if any health and safety legislation had been breached in regards to the building, which is part of the Mander Centre.

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