A YOUNG boy was crushed to death in a lift while his mother and sisters were just yards away.
The three-year-old was tragically killed in the freak accident after becoming separated from his family.
Soloman Soremekun (3) – who had moved from Dublin to Galway with his family – was found in the lift shaft at the Hynes building in Galway, shortly after 3pm yesterday.
An investigation is now underway into how he gained access to the lift.Soloman had suffered crush injuries and died as a result of massive blood loss.
THE THREE-YEAR-OLD BOY HAD BEEN WITH HIS MOTHER AND THREE SISTERS AT THE SOCIAL WELFARE OFFICES ON THE FIRST FLOOR OF THE BUILDING WHEN HE BECAME SEPARATED FROM HIS FAMILY.
SOLOMAN &NDASH; THE ONLY BOY IN THE FAMILY &NDASH; WAS ON HIS OWN WHEN HE WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED IN THE LIFT SHAFT ACCIDENT.
A Health and Safety Authority (HSA) investigation has now been launched into the incident.
One line of enquiry gardai are pursuing is whether the toddler might have crawled into the space under the floor of the lift and fell into the shaft.
His heartbroken mother was too distraught to return to her Doughiska home last night. She was being comforted by friends at a nearby bed and breakfast.
Two investigations are now under way into how the child could have gained access to the lift shaft.
Gardai, ambulances and two units of the Galway city fire brigade were called to the incident. They worked desperately to free Soloman, but his injuries were too great and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
His frantic mother and siblings were comforted by members of staff at the offices while attempts were made to free the child.
His remains were removed to Galway University Hospital where a post-mortem examination is expected to be carried out later today.
The family are originally from Nigeria but had been living in the Doughiska area of Galway city since last week. They had moved to Galway from Dublin in recent months.
"Soloman's mother is in pieces today. She can't go home. She can't face it. She knows no one here," a friend said.
Gardai described the death as a tragic accident.
The building was closed off yesterday evening, pending a technical examination by gardai, which began at 5pm.
A Garda spokesman said: "There was a tragic incident which resulted in the death of a three-year-old male. It occurred at the Social Welfare offices at 3pm. The Health and Safety Authority has been informed."
Jubilee Echefu, president of the Association of Nigerians in Galway, said: "This is a terrible tragedy and the community will support this family."