Five-year-old Afghan refugee falls to death from Sheffield hotel

A five-year-old boy who fell to his death from a hotel window was an Afghan refugee whose family recently fled the Taliban.

South Yorkshire police have appealed for information after the boy’s death in what was reported to be a fall from the ninth floor of Sheffield’s Metropolitan hotel in Blonk Street at approximately 2.30pm on Wednesday.

A member of the city’s Afghan Community Association, named only as Zabi, said: “It is very sad. We are looking to go to see the family to help them.”

The boy’s family were being supported by specially trained officers and no formal identification had taken place.

The hotel had been used to accommodate Afghan refugees who had assisted the British authorities in their home country, sources said.

A fellow refugee staying at the hotel told YorkshireLive the boy had arrived in Sheffield four days ago, adding: “They came here to save their lives and now this has happened. It is so sad.”

Alison Teal, a Green party councillor and member of the council executive, was recently quoted as saying Sheffield was a city of sanctuary for refugees from the Taliban.

She said: “There is an ongoing police investigation and we are advised we cannot make any comments. It’s a really tragic story.”

Tourists who had booked to stay in the hotel earlier this month had complained online that their bookings were suddenly cancelled. One traveller said they were told by a receptionist on 4 August that the hotel was closing in order to accommodate refugees.

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