SHOPPER Paul Noble said he had a lucky escape after a large slab of marble fell from a bank and landed on him – just missing his head.
The 40-year-old dad-of-two was enjoying market day in London Road, Waterlooville, yesterday when the 40in by 30in black slab fell from the Natwest building at 9am.
Mr Noble, who was rushed to QA hospital after the incident, said he’s been left in agony with a broken back.
But he told The News it could’ve been much worse.
He said: ‘I feel lucky. Another few inches and it could have hit my head.
‘The paramedic said if it had hit me on the head it would have been game over for me.’
The Iceland home delivery driver, who lives in Merlin Close, Waterlooville, was out shopping with his wife Gemma, 29, at the time.
He said: ‘We were walking past Natwest when I felt this massive weight come down on me. It felt like someone had jumped on my shoulder.
‘Straight away I thought “I’m in trouble here” because I couldn’t feel my left arm and I heard my wife scream.
‘I had pains in my chest and I thought I was paralysed because I couldn’t move my arm or my legs.’
Mr Noble, who banks with Natwest, was kept still by passers-by until an ambulance arrived at 9.15am.
Police closed the Natwest branch and cordoned off the area until 2pm in case any more masonry fell down.
Contractors from the banking giant were called out to make the area safe.
Mr Noble, who is 6ft 2ins, said: ‘I’m quite a big bloke so I think that’s what saved me. I’m glad it was me and not a mother and baby.
‘If it had fallen on someone smaller it could have been far more serious.
‘I’m relieved I didn’t have my kids with me because God knows what could have happened.’
Shocked shoppers looked on as Mr Noble was treated at the scene.
Alison Charlesworth, 41, of London Road, said: ‘I had to cut through past Natwest to pick up something from Boots. It was very busy up there because it was market day and there were a lot of older people and mums with push chairs around.
‘What happened was awful, but it could have been so much worse.
‘He could’ve been killed if it had been a couple of inches closer to his head or neck.’
Nigel Meffen, a spokesman for Natwest, stressed the company’s thoughts were with Mr Noble.
He said: ‘We are very concerned for the welfare of our customer following this unfortunate incident.
‘We have spoken to his family to check upon his health and to wish him a speedy recovery.’