Second child in a week crushed to death by automatic gates

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The Independent Online

A second child in one week has been killed after becoming trapped by automatic gates.

Karolina Maria Golabek, five, of Bridgend, South Wales, became stuck in the waist-high black metal gate at the entrance to the Brook Court flats complex in Bridgend on Saturday afternoon. The modern privately owned block is run by a housing association and sits in an area of terraced houses five minutes' walk from the town centre.

Neighbours said she was playing with a cat when a car triggered the gate, which crushed her against the post as it closed.

In a statement her family said: "Karolina was a very happy, fun-loving daughter. She loved animals, drawing pictures and enjoyed picking flowers for us, her loving parents and brother. Her parents and her brother would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support at this very difficult time. She will be deeply missed."

Semelia Campbell, six, was crushed by an automatic gate as she played with friends near her home on Carnival Place, Moss Side, Manchester, last Monday. She was freed when police broke off an electronic box.

A joint investigation into both deaths has been launched by the Health and Safety Executive. A spokesman for the HSE said that developments in Manchester with similar gates have been ordered to keep them locked in an open position until they can be inspected. He added: "HSE issued a safety alert to gate manufacturers and installers in February this year, reminding them of their safety responsibilities.

A file is being prepared for the Coroner.

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