Collapse of swing set kills schoolgirl in public play park

Eleven-year-old could not be revived by ambulance crew after incident in Madrid neighborhood

The body of the youngster lies next to the collapsed swing set.
The body of the youngster lies next to the collapsed swing set.CARLOS ROSILLO

The collapse of a badly anchored swing set killed an 11-year-girl of Moroccan origin on Wednesday, in a park in the Madrid neighborhood of Rivas Vaciamadrid. The incident took place at 2.55pm, after the lunch break at her school, which is located nearby to the park in question.

The child, who was playing on the swing along with another girl, suffered a heavy blow to the head, while her friend suffered light injuries to her leg.

According to witnesses, the swing set – which was a “T” shape, and had a swing hanging from each side – had not been installed correctly, despite having been repaired by the council not long ago.

The children’s park is located in Rafael Alberti square, in a residential area of this southeastern municipality.

“It was not screwed in,” explained Ali Aghmir, the father of the victim. “There was no cement, there was nothing. It was badly anchored in the sand.”

The mother of the little girl, who was at home with her husband at the time of the accident, suffered a panic attack and was taken to the residence of a friend. According to the father, the girl had left the family home at 2.45pm to return to school, but stopped to play at the park.

The victim had four sisters and one brother.

After receiving an emergency call, an ambulance crew found that the victim had suffered serious head injuries and was in cardiac arrest. Attempts to revive her, which lasted 15 minutes, were in vain.

Sources at the local council said that the park where the accident took place was remodeled in 2011. The work included the installation of a number of new items, including the swing. The same sources explained that the swing set in question met all the necessary safety regulations, as well as having been subject to periodical checks.

The company that installed the swing set, which is also responsible for its maintenance, carried out the latest check on January 23, without finding any faults.

The council has decided to take the preventive measure of sealing off another swing set of the same type, until the necessary investigations are complete.

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