A British tourist has survived a plunge from the 15th floor of an apartment block in New Zealand.
Tom Stilwell, 20, who is in the country on a working holiday, is said to be in a “satisfactory” condition in hospital after sustaining neck and back fractures and a broken wrist.
It is believed he may also have some internal injuries after the fall in Auckland.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Mr Stilwell’s flatmate, Dave Thomas, 22, said his friend was speaking, although unable to remember falling from the building.
“He’s absolutely fine … He’s a very lucky man,” Mr Thomas said.
It is reported that Mr Stilwell had been out drinking with pals and had returned alone to his city centre apartment but was locked out.
He woke a neighbour in the flat directly above and asked if he could use her balcony to access his.
According to the paper, Geraldine Bautista, 28, said Mr Stilwell was “a little bit tipsy”.
“I wasn’t scared of him – he just requested ‘can you please let me jump off from the balcony? I will not bother you just let me use your balcony …’
“I never thought he would really do that. In my mind I thought ‘Okay, I’ll just let you see that it’s really impossible (to gain access to his apartment)’. I didn’t think he’d jump, because it’s really scary.”
Before she could react he had one leg over the railing.
“I asked him ‘Are you all right? It’s unsafe to jump over the rail’.”
Describing the fall she said Mr Stilwell slipped from her grasp and plummeted “like a paper falling”.
“He never said anything … I grabbed his hand and then at that time … he fell down. I thought I was dreaming. It happened so fast. It happened within seconds. I couldn’t even scream for help.”
He landed on the roof of an adjacent building after plunging about 13 floors.
St John Medical Director Dr Tony Smith told the paper that surviving falls from such heights was “extraordinarily unusual” but that the roof of the low-rise building far below likely broke Mr Stilwell’s fall enough to save his life.
Mr Stilwell was at first listed as being in a critical condition but has improved to a satisfactory condition.