Astronomy lover, 14, plummeted from balcony trying ‘to watch the stars’

A young astronomy-mad teenager who was visiting his grandparents fell off their balcony to his death while he was trying to see the stars.

Marcel Bruchal, 14, from Newham, East London, fell at 9.15pm on March 19, 2022, from his grandparents’ newly-refurbished maisonette at Sleaford House in Bow.

An ambulance was called at 9.13pm and arrived at the scene for 9.35pm finding Marcel in cardiac arrest,MyLondonreported.

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Paramedics performed CPR and provided him with breathing equipment, however, efforts to resuscitate him were stopped at 10.09pm, shortly after arriving at Royal London Hospital.

Marcel attended the Oasis Academy Silvertown, in North Woolwich, where he was “well-liked”.

A heartbreaking statement from his grandmother, Iwona Wozniak, in the coroner’s report said that after a nice day eating together and playing ping pong, the family had "danced around".

"While we were dancing salsa Marcel left to go to the toilet for a while. [A family member] followed him out as he did not think he was coming back," she said.

“He saw Marcel standing by the balcony and looking down. He described Marcel looking at it in a weird way."

She and Marcel then went to Tesco where Marcel was "joined at my hip", which she thought “was weird at the time".

When they got back Marcel watched Jumanji and he then suggested karaoke after dinner.

"[He] went out and [another family member] said he was looking out in a weird way. I asked and he said he was looking down.”

She continued: "I heard them shout 'Marcel no Marcel no Marcel why?' [He was] next to me shouting and crying but I could not make sense of what he was saying.

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“They grabbed my hand and took me to the balcony… I saw two people and a car.

“Then I saw someone laying there. My sight is not good but then I recognised Marcel's top. I was shouting 'Chris, Chris' and then 'Jesus Christ'.

"When I came out of the hallway Chris was already halfway down the stairs. I told him and he said 'what are you saying'. We went down in the lift.

“We ran out of the block and we saw him laying there. He was not on the pavement, he was laying far from the building. He was bleeding from his mouth.

"My husband moved him around a bit. I was shouting hysterically, I was shaking. I told my husband not to touch him.

“I could see he was dead, his legs were bent and he was not moving. He shouted for me to go get a towel and prop up his head.

“I wanted to cover him up with the patchwork but at that point the ambulance turned up."

Coroner Mary Hassell said: "Some elements of how Marcel died are clear to me, but some are more difficult to understand. No other person was involved with that.

"Marcel must have climbed up onto the balcony in order to leave it. This was a safe balcony, he was a 14-year-old. This was not simply that the balcony was unsafe.

"All the evidence I have heard is that he was a very happy child. He was much loved, doing well at school.”

Concluding, she said: "The likelihood is that he fell from the balcony and that this was an accident fall."


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