‘There were big shards of glass and metal dangling’

The damage at Dunelm Mill.
The damage at Dunelm Mill.

A Derry woman has described the terrifying moment she watched glass and steel fall from the Dunelm Mill store on the Buncrana Road.

The woman had been shopping in the centre with her mum on Monday afternoon when a gust of wind from Storm Henry caused serious damage to the front of the shop.

A security guard surveys the damage at Dunelm Mill. DER0416MC030 (Photo: Jim McCafferty)

A security guard surveys the damage at Dunelm Mill. DER0416MC030 (Photo: Jim McCafferty)

The store remained closed today and will be unable to reopen until the front door is fixed.

The local woman was in the car park when the freak accident occurred - however she said had it happened seconds later the glass could have fallen on her mother’s head.

“I saw the second piece coming down,” she said. “However I had no idea my mum was outside looking for me or anywhere near it when the first bit came down.

“There were big shards of glass and metal dangling and they were getting everyone to move back to keep away. “Then there was another huge crash and more glass and steel came tumbling down as we all watched on.

“It’s hard to believe the damage that the wind was doing.

“I found my mum and she was traumatised and crying - the staff then started evacuating us all out the back to keep everyone away from the front of the shop and more falling glass, there was still a big pane balancing up there at the very top.”

The woman praised the staff at Dunelm for the way they handled the situation.

“One of the men who worked there was lovely and stayed with my mother and came right out to the car with us - we were parked very near where it all happened but were safe enough - they could see she was in a bit of a state of shock.

“There was no warning - my mother said it was really windy and then there was just a big strong gust of wind and bang.

“It was busy enough in there and we’re all fortunate that the headline on the news was just about the damage and not that someone got seriously injured or killed.