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Argos claim seat is safe after baby dies in crash

THE retail chain that sold a baby seat fitted to a car which crashed, leaving a seven-month-old girl with fatal injuries, has said the product is safe.

A spokesperson for Argos said that the retailer is looking into the circumstances surrounding the death of little Hannah McNevin-Best in March last year.

An inquest into the death heard that the restraining point, or lug, at the back of the car seat failed in the impact.

One of the flaps had become detached, the inquest heard.

After a verdict of accidental death was returned by the jury, the Dublin City Coroner Dr Brian Farrell pledged to track down the manufacturers of the seat.

The company revealed the brand as the Graco Century Travel System car seat.

"We would like to offer our heartfelt sympathy to the family," the statement read, adding that the seat had gone through rigorous safety checks and it is the first time that any such issue has arisen in relation to the item.

"We are looking into the matter to try and understand the full circumstances of the incident. In the meantime, we remain satisfied that the product is safe."

When returning its verdict, the jury asked the coroner to contact the manufacturer of the car seat and the Road Safety Authority about the incident.

The baby was a front-seat passenger in the car her mother Bernadette was driving, when it failed to negotiate a sharp left-hand bend at Ballinphuil, Castlerea, Co Roscommon, on March 6, 2009.

The car struck a tree after it went out of control and crossed to the other side of the road.

Ms McNevin, who is originally from Ballinagare in Co Roscommon but has since moved to Dublin, took Hannah from the vehicle and sought help at the home of a nearby man who alerted the emergency services.

However, Hannah had sustained severe head injuries in the crash and died at Temple Street Children's Hospital, Dublin, on March 8.