Two freed in gate death probe

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The Independent Online

Two men arrested today in relation to the death of a little girl who was crushed by an electronic gate have been released on bail.

Six-year-old Semelia Campbell died on June 28 when the motorised gate closed on her as she played near her home on Carnival Place, Moss Side, Manchester.

The men, both aged 38, were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence.

They were bailed pending further enquiries, Greater Manchester Police said.

The force launched a joint investigation with the Health and Safety Executive after the youngster died.

The girl's mother, Judith Gilroy, was among the first on the scene and tried in vain to free her daughter who was pinned against a brick post.

Ms Gilroy, 41, said she tried pressing the electronic button to open the gate, and also tried to use a remote control, but neither worked.

"This should never have happened," she said. "The gates are chained up now but they were not secured last night. We tried everything we could to free her.

"She was my whole life, I don't know how I will go on without her. I'm just angry and devastated, really. The gate was not finished, it shouldn't have happened."

The schoolgirl was playing with her friend Jadon Skeritt, also aged six, near the gate when she became trapped.

She was rushed to Manchester Royal Infirmary but died from her injuries a short time later.

Four gates on the estate remain locked in an open position until inspectors can fully examine them and ensure there is no risk, a police spokesman said.

Another little girl was killed in similar tragic circumstances just five days later in Bridgend, South Wales.

Five-year-old Karolina Maria Golabek died after becoming trapped in an automatic sliding gate on July 3.

Earlier this year, developer Faulkner Gates Ltd, of Romsey, Hampshire, was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £40,000 legal costs after it admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

It was prosecuted after nine-year-old Jason Keet was crushed to death by a set of electronic gates in Poole, Dorset.

His mother, Samantha Whittle, and his sister, Rhiannon, aged 12 at the time, witnessed the horrific scene outside Jason's grandparents' flat in Branksome Park.