Man who plunged 100ft to his death from private members' balcony at Tate Modern was a bank manager
•Michael Foreman, 48, fell from a private members' balcony on the fifth floor of the gallery
•Inquest hears he was reported missing just the day before his death
•Mr Foreman worked as bank manager for HSBC
•Several visitors to the Edvard Munch and Damien Hirst exhibitions at the gallery witnessed fall
•Bystanders said on Twitter that they were 'traumatised'
By Suzannah Hills
PUBLISHED: 12:21, 30 July 2012 | UPDATED: 13:01, 30 July 2012 www.dailymail.co.uk
Michael Foreman, 48, died from 'multiple traumatic injuries' after plunging 100ft to his death at London's Tate Modern gallery
The man who plunged 100ft to his death at London’s Tate Modern gallery in front of horrified onlookers was a HSBC bank manager, it was revealed today.
Michael Foreman, 48, was reported missing the day before he fell from a private members' balcony on the fifth floor of the gallery just before 6pm last Tuesday evening.
An inquest was today opened into his death at Southwark Coroner’s Court after Mr Foreman was formally identified by his wife following the incident. His death - caused by 'multiple traumatic injuries' - was deemed non suspicious, the court heard.
The hearing was told: 'On July 23rd he was reported missing to Essex Police. On July 24th he was witnessed to jump from the fifth floor members bar area of the Tate Modern. He was taken to St Thomas Hospital.'
Coroner Dr Andrew Harris was told Mr Foreman, who lived with his wife Janet in Essex, was 'a senior bank manager with HSBC'
Mr Foreman’s funeral is due to take place on Friday at Corbets Tey crematorium in Upminster.
Devastated friends of the HSBC banker described him as a 'gentleman' who was 'very passionate' about his hobby, playing trombone in brass bands.His friends revealed Mr Foreman's death was a case of 'history repeating itself' as Mr Foreman's brother, who had also worked for HSBC, died in tragic circumstances after going for a swim and suffering a heart attack aged just 24.Mr Morris, who also plays trombone, added: 'He had a good job in the City and was always flying to Hong Kong so it makes you think what was going through his mind when he died.
'I've known him for many years as we played for 50 years for the Aveley band. He was a quiet man, but very passionate about the trombone.
'He was very business-like and not very sociable. He was always very well-suited and always a gentleman.
'It's very sad news and I just can't believe it.'He had a brother who used to work for HSBC too, but he tragically died years ago. 'He went for a swim and had a heart attack. He was 24 when he died and they were both very close.'
Mr Foreman from the terrace of a bar and restaurant area as tourists picnicking by the Thames in the late afternoon sun watched in shock.
It was a busy period for the gallery with shows by hugely popular artists Damien Hirst and Edvard Munch taking place.
Elodie Soetaert, 25, an account manager for We Are Social, said: 'We arrived just after and saw police and police tape everywhere. The body was covered in tarpaulin and the police had put screens up so we couldn’t see it.
'It was really shocking. Some people had been playing music and when they stopped it was silent.
'I’d gone for drinks with my friends and I’m happy I arrived after he had fallen because I wouldn’t have wanted to see that.'
One Tate employee, who did not want to be named, said: 'I was just finishing my shift when I heard what had happened.
'As I was walking out of the building I saw him on the ground.
'It was horrible. I didn't stop to look at any more. Everybody is so shocked. Nobody is even speaking about it today.'
A cyclist who saw a man plunge to his death returned to the gallery yesterday to leave a bunch of flowers at the spot where he died.
The man, who would not give his name, said he did not know the victim, as he laid a bunch of pink lilies outside just after 4pm.
Looking visibly upset, he said: 'I was on the balcony of the espresso bar when it happened, which is two floors below where he fell.
'I didn't see or hear anything beforehand I just saw him fall and hit the ground.
'It was awful. It was one of the most shocking things I've ever seen.'
Shocked onlookers took to the internet to describe the tragic incident.
@CathHannahx wrote on Twitter: ‘Seeing the guy who had committed suicide and jumped off the Tate modern has been the most traumatic thing I have seen.’
Some onlookers at first thought it was 'a staged flash mob thing' and took photographs, tweeted @salmasaid.
Another user, @afbsutherland, said: 'Weird day at Tate modern. Sehgal was amazing, the possible suicide outside was pretty awful. Hope it wasn't as bad as it looked.'
A spokesman for the museum said: 'Our deepest sympathies go to his family.’
This is not the first time the gallery has encountered tragedy.
In 2007, lawyer Matthew Courtney, 27, plunged 80ft down a stairwell leading to the art gallery’s seventh floor restaurant in a tragic accident.