Thursday 29 January 2015

Boy in lift tragedy was 'banging on door begging for his mother to help'

Published 18/01/2014 | 02:30

Gardai at the scene of a tragic accident involving a lift in Hynes Building in Galway City where Solomon Soremekun, inset, died. Photo: Andrew Downes
Solomon Soremekun died in an elevator shaft at the Hynes Building in Galway earlier this week. Andrew Downes

A Three-year-old boy who died after he was crushed in a lift had called out to his mother begging her to help him.

Solomon Soremekun (3) died in a freak accident in which he was crushed in an elevator shaft in Galway city centre on Monday afternoon.

His mother, Omolara Alibi, who has been in a state of deep shock since the tragedy, has now begun to speak about her son's last moments.

The tragedy unfolded at the Hynes Building on St Augustine Street in the city.

Ms Alibi explained to her legal representative, Gerard O'Donnell, how Solomon had entered the lift without issue just moments before the tragedy occurred.

"She had been able to tell me that they were coming out of the social welfare offices and the door of the lift opened and the lift was level with the floor. Solomon stepped in but as her daughter went to step in, it snapped closed," explained Mr O'Donnell.

"Solomon was stuck in the lift and he was shouting to his mother for help. He kept shouting: 'Help me mommy, help me mommy'. He was calling and banging on the door to get help," he added.


Emergency services rushed to the scene and attempted to free the child, however, he was found in the lift shaft having suffered crush injuries which resulted in his death.

A Health and Safety Authority investigation and a garda probe are under way. They will attempt to establish how the boy went from inside the elevator to being trapped by the lift shaft.

Mr O'Donnell said his client was "tormented" and was desperate for answers.

"First and foremost she is totally traumatised and shocked by what happened.

"She kept saying she went into the Hynes building with four children and came out with three. She wants to find out what happened and how it happened," he said.

The family had only recently moved to Galway and were visiting a Department of Social Protection office in the building, to complete paperwork associated with their move.

Ms Alibi is expected to meet with officials from the Health and Safety Authority next week.

The little boy will be laid to rest at the New Cemetery in Galway city following a prayer service at the hospital mortuary today.

His mother and father, Ade Soremekun, along with his three sisters, Princess, Esther and Zion, will attend the private service along with members of the local Nigerian community.

Caroline Crawford

Irish Independent

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