University of East London student dies in St Paul’s Cathedral fall

PUBLISHED: 10:24 18 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:24 18 October 2017

Lidia Dragescu, 23, was a student from UEL. Photo: City of London Police

Lidia Dragescu, 23, was a student from UEL. Photo: City of London Police


A figure skater who died after falling from St Paul’s Cathedral’s Whispering Gallery was a student at the University of East London.

Lidia Dragescu, a devout Christian from Romford, died in the incident on October 11.

Her death is not being treated as suspicious.

The 23-year-old had started studying for a biomedical science degree at the university in Stratford and had ambitions of becoming a brain surgeon.

A University of East London spokesman said: “Everyone at the university is deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Lidia, who had only recently begun her degree course in biomedical science.

“Our thoughts are with her loved ones and we have been in contact with her family to offer our support during this unimaginably painful time.”

Lidia’s heartbroken family have paid tribute to her “pure and kind” soul.

In a statement, they said: “Our daughter and sister was the most beautiful person in the world. Her heart was pure and kind, a soul from another world.

“She was an outstanding student and a talented figure skater. Beautiful, intelligent and kind. She would always help me, not allowing me to do any difficult chores. “Her love for us was beyond measure, she was selfless and kind. Everything that she had she shared with us, always putting us first. We love her and will always love her.

“For Lidia, the world has been a bad place to live in.”

The Romanian student had previously earned a degree in business studies from Ulster University.

She also helped operate a website – – with her mother, dedicated to improving people’s general knowledge of things such as philosophy and classical music.

A cathedral spokesman said: “Although robust procedures for emergency situations are in place at St Paul’s and our response bore that out, it does not lessen the shock we feel as a close community, especially for those of us who witnessed and responded to this incident.

“We think and pray especially at this time for the woman who died, and for all those who were close to her and who loved and cared for her.”

The Samaritans charity is available 24 hours a day to provide confidential support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts. Call 116 123 or visit

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Most Read

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Most Read

Latest from the Newham Recorder