Last week a man died in Manchester city centre. I know because I heard it happen.
I live in the Northern Quarter, and area known for its pubs, bars, restaurants, fashion and shopping amongst other things. My apartment is less than a minute away from the Manchester Arndale shopping mall where the man died last Friday, July 6th.
In the morning my wife and I walked past the Arndale and saw the main street (High Street) next to it blocked off by police, diverting traffic and bocking the route of the city's Metrolink tram. As it was raining we just concentrated on walking as fast as we could. Five hours later we came back the same way and things were still blocked off.
The crowd was bigger, people speculating about things and we looked around to see what we could before deciding to go home. And then we heard a noise, similar to a gun shot, though not as loud but still dramatic given the police involvement. I thought there was a siege or a robbery gone wrong but it wasn't that. Then people started to say someone had jumped. And someone had.
I'm still relieved that I hadn't directly seen it happened or the aftermath that and more importantly that my wife hadn't. We sped up because my wife still didn't realise what had happened and I waited to tell her when we got home. Some six weeks previously a similar thing happened but police were able to talk a woman down but not this time.
Their has been very little written up on this since it happened - and I have looked - quite possibly to respect the man's family's wish for privacy but some of those that were there will never forget.