Inflatable sculpture deaths: artist guilty
The creator of an inflatable artwork which broke free from its moorings and flipped over, killing two people, was found guilty today of breaching health and safety rules.
Claire Furmedge, 38, and Elizabeth Collings, 68, died when they fell from the giant PVC structure as it left the ground.
A jury at Newcastle Crown Court found Maurice Agis, 77, of Kirton Gardens, Bethnal Green, east London, guilty of one charge of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.
The judge, Mrs Justice Cox, gave a majority direction to the jury, which retired to continue deliberating on two counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.
The 50-metre by 50-metre inflatable artwork broke free and rose into the sky on a hot afternoon in Chester-le-Street's Riverside Park, County Durham, in July 2006.
Mrs Furmedge, 38, from Chester-le-Street, and Mrs Collings, 68, were trapped inside the artwork when a sudden gust of wind got underneath the structure, raising it from the ground.
The ropes tethering the inflatable sculpture were no longer able to hold it, and it broke free, flipping over and crashing into a CCTV pole, where it deflated.
Another 27 visitors were injured, among them Rosie Wright, then aged three, whose life was saved by a passing anaesthetist and the prompt action of an air ambulance crew who flew her to hospital.
Simon Calder looks at communities fighting back against the poachers
Guide dog mauled while helping owner deliver Christmas cards
Nelson Mandela’s complex bond with Britain
The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
Deadly ice storm pushes up US east coast as temperatures drop to -29C
10 stone five-year-old taken into care
- 1 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 2 Council bans use of word ‘Commie’ – but ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi’ are fine
- 3 The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
- 4 The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
- 5 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- < Previous
- Next >
£40000 - £55000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Senior C...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Senior A...
£29999 - £40001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A top independent...
£22000 - £26000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...