Municipality rapped for boy’s death

A probe by public administration officials into the death of a 13-year-old at a fairground in Elliniko, southern Athens, last month has highlighted serious shortfalls on the part of the local municipality, which was found to have rented out the site illegally.

Inspectors on Monday delivered their findings to Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who described them as “disheartening.”

“The fairground should never have operated and that is something that should concern us all,” he said, noting that the improvement of the institutional framework governing child play areas was as important as the attribution of responsibility for the fatal accident at Elliniko.

The probe found the Elliniko Municipality had broken the law when it rented the site to a company that had not applied for an operating license and which used an area of 2,450 square meters instead of the 700 square meters it had paid to rent. Inspectors also found that local authorities did not conduct any inspections at the site, which lacked basic safety measures.

A 13-year-old boy was killed and his 9-year-old sister seriously injured when a gust of wind blew a water roller on the site into the air.

Four people – the Greek manager of the fairground, an Italian national who rented him equipment and two Bangladeshi workers – face criminal charges in connection with the accident while Elliniko Mayor Christos Kortzidis has been called to testify.