Manager of fairground where boy, 13, died blames weather

The manager of a fairground in Elliniko, south of Athens, where a 13-year-old boy died on Sunday, told a magistrate that "extreme weather conditions" were to blame for the death and insisted that the equipment at the facility was new and met European Union quality standards, Skai reported on Friday.

The boy and his sister, aged 9, had been in helium-filled cylinders, known as water rollers, on a pool in the fairground when a strong gust of wind blew them about 30 meters. The boy was killed instantly while he sister suffered serious injuries.

In boy's father, who had been at the playground when the tragedy occurred, told police that employees at the site had not taken basic safety measures.

Another three people accused in connection with the incident -- an Italian man who rented equipment and two Bangladeshi fairground employees -- appealed against a decision to upgrade the charges to manslaughter with possible malice aforethought, which is a felony. A judicial council was to convene, possibly later on Friday, to decide on a response to the defendants' objections.

It remained unclear whether Elliniko Mayor Christos Kortzidis, who has rejected criticism levelled against municipal authorities for failing to conduct checks on the fairground, would be called for testimony.