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Tragedy as young woman killed by icicle falling from roof

By Anna Liesowska
20 March 2015

Spotlight placed on public service officials who failed to notice ice blocks on a canopy at flats as the spring thaw starts to arrive.

Tatiana Igonina, 20, was killed by giant icicle when she was walking with her dog. Picture: Vkontakte

There was a tragedy in Siberia last weekend after a giant icicle fell off a building and killed a young woman walking her dog. Tatiana Igonina, 20, had only taken a few steps on March 14 when the sharp block of ice crashed down from the 14th floor onto her head.

Moments later a number of other people, including the woman’s mother and doctors who had come to attend to her, narrowly missed being hit by further falls.

According to Tatiana's friend, Elena, investigators refused to approach her body until all icicles were removed from the roof of the building in Novosibirsk. But her female dog Brave mad a miraculous escape from the falling icicle. 

Public service officials said they had cleared the roof just a week earlier, but failed to notice blocks of ice on a canopy over a balcony. The canopy had been put up by one of the flat’s owners and it was assumed he would clear it himself, but did not.

Tatyana Igonina


Tatyana Igonina


Tatyana Igonina

Tatyana Igonina, 20, had only taken a few steps on March 14 when the sharp block of ice crashed down from the 14th floor onto her head. Pictures: Vkontakte

Icicles and blocks of snow regularly fall on the heads of Novosibirsk residents every winter, and especially in spring when the ice begins to melt. The city major urged public services to clear all the roofs in the city from show and but it has emerged it was not done completely. 

The last death occurred in January 2008 when an 83-year-old died, but there have been a number of serious injuries and near misses involving ice this month alone.

In Novokuznetsk on March 15, a day after Tatiana's death, a snow boulder fell on a 17-year-old girl, leaving her with a head wound that required hospital treatment. 

The same day, in Ulan-Ude, an icicle hit a 10-year-old boy who was walking with his friend. It fell from a roof and the rebound hit him in the face. The boy, called Ayan, said: 'At first I thought that it just slightly hit me and I had got just a bruise but then I saw blood on my hands and I was afraid. My grandfather told me that I was lucky that it did not hit my eyes.'

Ayan in Ulan-Ude

Ayan, 10 yo, was hit by the icicle when he was walking with his friend. Picture: Arigus.tv

On March 16 in Irkutsk an ice block fell on a 40-year-old woman, who was walking with her little granddaughters. She had been pushing her 18 month old granddaughter in a pram, with the older three-year-old walking behind them as they went into a shoe shop.

The director of the store, Anastasia, said: 'They stood at the entrance when suddenly a block of ice fell on the woman's head. She fell from the blow, but did not lose consciousness. And I, and other staff, immediately arrived to help her.'

Fortunately, none of the girls were injured but their grandmother had a suspected concussion and was taken to hospital.

Deadly icicles


Deadly icicles


Deadly icicles

The investigators refused to approach Tatiana's body until all icicles were removed from the roof of the building in Novosibirsk. Pictures: Channel 1

There is advice for people in Siberia in springtime to ensure they are not injured by icicles:

1. Try not to walk under the eaves or balconies. It’s better to choose a longer way, than go under any overhang where the icicles or snow boulders can form. 

2. When you are going to enter any building look up and check that nothing is going fall on you from above. 

3. In windy weather try to avoid walking at all, but if it is not possible try not to approach too close to buildings. 

A video from Vladivostok showing how snow and ice can fall down from the roof:

Comments (2)

Never realised just how many such incidents there were. RIP Tatiana, my sympathy goes to you & yours
Simon Robinson, Crewe UK
23/03/2015 14:55
4
0
My deepest sympathy for her family. What a beautiful young lady and what a terrible tragedy.
Stephen, US
22/03/2015 08:22
8
0
1

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