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Child's Death Increases Calls for Tougher Standards for Decks





A Reminder of the Importance of Checking the Safety of Decks and Verandas

 It is with much sadness that we pass this tragic information on to our clients. The tragic case following highlights the importance of building inspections on property to ensure that the property is safe, fit to live in and structurally sound. If you would like a building inspection for your investment property, please contact your property manager.
“POLICE are investigating the structural integrity of a second storey balcony railing that collapsed yesterday sending a mother and her baby plummeting to the concrete below. 
        
The 43-year-old woman remains in Gosford Hospital with a suspected broken back while her three-month-old son was airlifted to Westmead Children’s Hospital where he later died.
As a violent storm front passed over the Niagara Park home on the Central Coast shortly after 1pm yesterday neighbours heard a man and woman screaming before the mother and child tumbled from the balcony.



 

Gosford Superintendent Daniel Sullivan said compliance officers from Gosford City Council had been called to assist detectives with their inquiry along with more specialist structural engineers from the private sector.
“That’s the key factor of our investigation at this point in time, in relation to the structural integrity of the home at Niagara Park,” he said.
“At the moment what we’re not doing is ruling anything in or anything out.
“What we can say is that based on what occurred the mother was on the balcony and soon after ambulance officers were called and attended the scene and the mother and the baby were on the ground.”




 
Supt Sullivan said detectives were interviewing any witnesses to determine the circumstances leading up to the fall, which he described as a “tragedy”.
He confirmed the couple, who are believed to have at least another son who attends a nearby public school, had only recently moved into the rented house.
He said any liability in relation to what is being described by neighbours as an “accident” would form part of the report being prepared for the coroner.
“That’s a matter that will need to be thoroughly investigated in the investigation being done by the coroner and certainly would be one of the lines of inquiry,” Supt Sullivan said.”




 
“I think it’s very important for any home owner or renter to make sure they are directly aware of the structural integrity of where they’re living.
“It’s particularly important to know rather than assume and there’s plenty of services available to all of us to make sure our homes are safe.”
Supt Sullivan said the “terrible tragedy” had badly affected the family who’s grief was still “too raw” to speak to the media, as well as the emergency services personnel who responded.
“Even just speaking as a father myself, I was yesterday at home when I got this information (and) I just made sure I gave my two daughters an extra cuddle,” he said.
“This is a terrible tragedy, a young life has been taken, his mother is seriously injured and it’s a matter where we need to make sure we carefully and concisely go through and find out what exactly happened.”
 
Source www.dailytelegraph.com.au as at March 17th 2014