A six-year-old boy allegedly thrown off the 10th floor viewing platform at the Tate Modern is now in a critical but stable condition, say police.
Witnesses described harrowing scenes as a woman screamed “he’s my son” after the boy landed on a fifth floor roof at the London landmark on Sunday afternoon.
The child was rushed to hospital and had been fighting for his life, but police said his injuries are no longer considered life-threatening.
A 17-year-old boy remains in custody after being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
The teen is not thought to be known to the boy, according to Scotland Yard.
A Met Police spokesperson said on Monday: “The six-year-old boy injured at the Tate Modern is now in a critical but stable condition in hospital.
A 17-year-old male remains in police custody. Enquiries are ongoing.”
The Tate Modern planned to reopen on Monday, but the viewing platform would remain closed.
An air ambulance landed near the art gallery on the south bank of the River Thames in London after the incident which happened at roughly 2.40pm on Sunday.
A witness, who had been on the fifth floor in the member’s lounge, told Mirror Online: “I heard the impact and then screaming from above as a woman screamed ‘He’s my son! He’s my son!’
“I went inside because the screaming was horrific, the boy didn’t make any noise but the people from the viewing platform were screaming.
“Inside, after around 10 minutes we were told to leave. They tried to shut down the Tate but one door was left unguarded so we left through that door.”
Administration worker Nancy Barnfield, 47, of Rochdale, was at the 10th-floor viewing gallery with a friend and their children when her friend heard a “loud bang”.
Ms Barnfield turned around and saw a woman screaming “where’s my son, where’s my son?”
Members of the public quickly gathered around a man who was nearby, she said.
Ms Barnfield said: “We did not notice the mum before, we noticed her after because she was hysterical by then.”
She said the person who was restrained by members of the public before the police arrived “just stood there and was quite calm”.
But most visitors only discovered that someone had been injured as they tried to leave.
Visitors told how they were prevented from leaving as police and paramedics attended the scene.
BBC correspondent Jonny Dymond, who was at the gallery when the child fell, said visitors were “funnelled towards the main Turbine Hall and the exits were all closed”.
“There were quite a lot of families with children, and security guards told us we couldn’t leave,” he said.
“There was at least two fire engines, 10 police cars and an incident control unit.
“Parts of the exterior of the building were taped off.”
At 2.55pm someone inside the gallery tweeted: “I’m stuck in the tate modern they won’t let anyone leave”.
An air ambulance was pictured landing minutes later.
Greg Ritchie wrote on Twitter: “Nobody being allowed in or out of the Tate Modern for the last 20 minutes.
“Plenty of police and ambulances arriving, and a helicopter just landed. Not clear what’s happened”.
Ben Weiner wrote shortly before 4pm: “Was locked the Tate modern this afternoon.
“Clearly a horrifying event occurred.
“Hope that the child who was hurt recovers. Atmosphere inside was tense, but calm.
Staff and emergency services were in control at all times. Impossible to know what happened yet, but sounds awful.”
Jenny Griffiths tweeted: “Currently locked in the Tate Modern, no one allowed in or out.”
At 5.30pm Met Police said visitors to the gallery have been allowed to leave.
Signs referring to Sunday’s incident remained at the entrances on Monday morning.
“Due to an incident earlier today, Tate Modern will be closed for the remainder of the day Sunday 4 August.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” the notices say.
A police spokesperson said: “A teenager has been arrested after a child was thrown from height in Southwark.
“Police were called at around 2.40pm on Sunday, 4 August, to reports of a young boy thrown from the tenth floor viewing platform of the Tate Modern in Bankside SE1.
“Officers attended along with colleagues from London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance.
“The six year-old boy was found on a fifth floor roof.
“He was treated at the scene and taken to hospital by London’s Air Ambulance.
“The boy’s condition has now been assessed as critical but stable; his family are being supported by police.
“A 17-year-old male had remained with members of the public on the tenth floor viewing platform.
“There is nothing to suggest that he is known to the victim.
“The teenager was arrested by police officers on suspicion of attempted murder and taken into police custody.
“A number of members of the public are assisting police with witness statements.”
The Tate Modern, situated in a former power station next to the River Thames, was the most popular attraction in Britain in 2018 with almost 6 million visitors, according to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.