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Two children badly injured as 9ft gate to flats collapses

an inspection on the safety of all gates leading to city flat complexes will be carried out after two young children suffered horrific injuries.

The Herald can reveal that two children and a delivery man narrowly escaped death after a heavy 9ft gate snapped off its hinges at the Clarence Street flat complex in the north inner city. The children -- both aged four -- suffered a broken leg and pelvis, while the delivery man was treated for a punctured lung.

Witnesses to the accident, which occurred last month, say the children were playing by the gate when it came off its hinges and crushed them.

The gate itself was so heavy that it took the Dublin City Fire Service 55 minutes to lift it off the injured parties.

The news sparked major safety concerns about gates throughout the city, with Dublin City councillors warning that it was only a matter of time until a tragedy occurred.

However the council has today confirmed that a "review" of gates leading to flat complexes will be carried out.

A council investigation examined CCTV footage of the incident and also involved a technical examination of the gate.

The council stated: "The CCTV footage shows children swinging out of the gate. This activity involved the gate being aggressively pushed through a full 180 degree swing so that the gate post hits against the stationary post.

"The footage shows that the gate bends about the vertical plane due to the stresses placed upon it during the abrupt stop.

"Both of the children who were injured were on the gate when the bolt failed, one on top of the gate on the inward side and one in the middle of the gate standing on the mid-rail."

However councillors expressed alarm that a gate could be forced off its hinges by two four-year-old children.

"I find it flabbergasting that two four-year-olds could achieve this," Independent councillor Christy Burke told the Herald. "Safety is top priority and every step must be taken to ensure this doesn't happen again."

Councillor Nial Ring added: "Two four year olds and a local delivery man could have lost their lives. And if it can happen once, it can happen throughout the city."

hnews@herald.ie


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