June 22, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Boy remains in hospital after steel gate at school fell on him


A nine-year-old primary school student remains hospitalized with a bruise on his head and a spinal injury after a 100kg steel gate fell on him at midday on Tuesday. Three people have been arrested.

The incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. when the boy and two other children were leaving Primary 3 School in Kifissia, a northern suburb of Athens. The child lost consciousness and was taken by ambulance to hospital, while two other children suffered minor injuries.

Workers were installing new steel gates while schoolchildren left during their lunch break. The police arrested two workers and a contractor and registered a case. Today they must appear before the prosecutor.

The municipality of Kifissia, which is responsible for the school buildings, announced on Wednesday afternoon that it had terminated the contract with a particular contractor, but this did not convince angry parents who are very concerned about the safety of their children.

Boy remains in hospital after steel gate at school fell on him

Parents, teachers and students gathered outside the council building on Wednesday morning to protest the incident. They told ANT1 that the worst was averted because the injured boy was “protected” by his backpack. They blamed the school, the contractor, the workers and the municipality.

Those directly or indirectly involved in the incident deny responsibility, with the contractor claiming the work was not completed and school officials saying they handed over the keys to the new door and walked away.

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The parents claim the contractor left without putting up safety warning signs.

Penteli Children's Hospital said in a statement that the boy was out of danger and would remain in the hospital for further observation and follow-up tests. According to state broadcaster ERT, in addition to the 9-year-old child, the mother, who rushed to his aid, also suffered minor injuries. This isn't the first time – and likely won't be the last – that schoolchildren have been injured due to negligence and lack of maintenance.

Classroom ceilings are collapsing, railings are falling, exposed electrical wires are electrocuting students, and school lunches laced with staph are sending dozens of people to the hospital. Earlier in May, a six-year-old boy from Phthiotida, in central Greece, was injured when a steel door fell on him at his school.



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