A BLACKBURN model died after plunging nine floors from the balcony of a luxury apartment block and hotel in Manchester city centre, packed with delegates for the Labour party conference.
Laura Pahomova, 23, of Preston New Road, had moved to Blackburn four years ago from her native Latvia. Police said that they are not treating her death as suspicious.
Officers at Greater Manchester Police said she fell from a high balcony at the 16-storey Light Boutique Aparthotel in the Northern Quarter before landing on another balcony nine floors below.
She was pronounced dead at the scene in Joiner Street. Many of the guests at the complex were in Manchester for the Labour Party conference.
It is unclear who, if anyone, was with Laura was with in the apartment at the time.
Yesterday her flatmate in Blackburn, who asked not to be named, said: “Laura was my best friend. We are still trying to find out what happened, but the police said she fell.”
Laura was a former Blackburn College student, who had studied GCSEs there.
Barry Griffiths, head of learner services at Blackburn College, said: “We are very saddened by this tragic news.
“To lose someone so young, and with her whole life in front of her, in such tragic circumstances is extremely distressing.
“On behalf of the staff and students at Blackburn College, I would like to express all my deepest sympathy to Laura’s family and friends at this very sad and difficult time.”
She had also worked for several years as a model.
On networking website ‘Model Mayhem’ she described herself as a Blackburn-based model and wrote: “I am fun, enthusiastic, easygoing and have a funny accent :)”
A spokesman for the hotel said Laura fell from a balcony in the ‘apartments’ section of the property.
The Light Boutique Aparthotel features 55 serviced apartments, located between floors six and 14 as well as several penthouse apartments.
The incident happened at 11.30am on Sunday.
Labour Party conference delegate Dina Livingston, 24, said: “I was in my room having a nap when the police knocked on my door. They said a woman had fallen on to a balcony and died. I think they were unsure whether it was an accident or not and were asking all the guests what they had seen.
“I didn’t see anything myself but it’s harrowing for someone to lose their life like this.”
An eyewitness, who did not want to be named, said: “It was quite a disturbing scene. There were loads of police cars, the street was closed off and there was tarpaulin covering the balcony.”