A YOUNG woman was badly injured when she plunged through the floor of a rusting cast iron balcony.

The 21-year-old student stepped on to the balcony of the second floor flat in Denmark Terrace, Brighton, and it crumbled beneath her, sending her crashing 10ft to the floor below.

Emergency services were called and the injured woman was stretchered off the building and taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital amid fears she could be paralysed.

Her fall was broken by a metal table and chairs on the balcony below.

She broke her leg and ankle and was covered from head to toe in bruises and grazes.

She had only moved into the flat three days earlier and it was the first time she had been on the balcony.

She was released from hospital on Saturday and is understood to still be in shock as she recovers from her injuries.

Daisy Shepherd, who lives in the flat below, said: “It was such a shock. There was a massive crash and she fell through.

“I was getting ready for a night out. I go out on to my balcony to smoke so it’s lucky I wasn’t out there at the time.

“She is so lucky not to have been even more seriously hurt.”

Neighbour Stuart Powell, who lives two doors away, heard the fall.

He said: “I heard a loud bang and at first I thought a car had crashed into the bins.

“I looked out on the balcony but couldn’t see anything. Then I saw passersby pointing up towards the balcony so looked over and saw her lying on next door’s balcony.

“I then heard a girl saying ‘oh my God’ repeatedly.

“She was on the second floor and luckily landed on the concrete balcony on first floor. Three ambulances, police and fire brigade turned up.

“She had to be taken away on a stretcher

“The ambulance arrived quite quickly. I heard her in pain when they tried to move her.

“After they had left, I went out to look at the balcony and saw the hole in the floor. It’s awful. Poor girl.”

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service confirmed it was been called to the scene at 8.30pm on Friday but was not needed to secure the building.

Sussex Police also attended, but a spokeswoman said it was not considered a police matter.

In April, the balcony of a neighbouring property also collapsed.

The road was closed as emergency services tried to secure the balcony which had “come adrift” but no one was hurt.

Further down the road, four people were injured when a balcony collapsed in Montpelier Road in July 2016. Jessica Paterson, shattered her pelvis, needing a seven-hour operation, while Harry Dee was impaled on iron railings. Corfield, broke her back and suffered arterial bleeding. Alex Browning, broke his wrist in four places and had cuts to his face.

In the same row of mid-19th century buildings a grandmother died and her baby grandson was

hurt in another balcony collapse in 1962.