‘Enough to fill 2 schools’: 700 kids died after falling from windows in Russia this year – ombudsman Over 700 kids fell out of windows to their death in Russia in 2017, while 500 others tragically died during summer holidays due to safety violations, an ombudsman said, urging a nationwide program to change the “scary” trend.
Children falling out of windows has become “a huge problem” in the country, Anna Kuznetsova, Russia’s ombudsman for children’s rights, said at a Monday press-conference in Moscow.
“More than 700 children fell out of the windows this year. It’s a scary figure. In fact, this is enough to fill two schools,” she said.
The summer holidays that should be the happiest time for the kids also took 429 children’s lives this year, the ombudsman said, citing the Investigative Committee. It’s a sharp increase compared to the same period last year when there were 294 fatalities.
The majority of the victims were spending their holidays at home and were often left without proper supervision by their parents, she added.
The increase in the tragic figures has been blamed on numerous safety violations across the country, Kuznetsova said. Among the most common were opened sewer hatches, pieces of steel fitting left sticking out of the ground, defective amusement rides and unequipped bathing areas, with 343 kids drowning. The children are endangered at playgrounds and athletic fields, on the roads and the territories of construction sites or abandoned buildings, she said.
“Only in recent days, we saw three tragic incidents. In Perm, a child died under an 8-meter pillar in an abandoned building; a schoolgirl was killed in Sevastopol after falling from a swing; and in Zelenograd (Moscow) a teenager was crushed by a fallen football goal,” the ombudsman said.
During this summer’s all-Russian action entitled “Childhood’s Safety” activists have inspected thousands of infrastructure assets used by children and sent the authorities more than 3,500 letters, informing them of violations Kuznetsova said. Almost half of those appeals were met with a positive response and the shortcomings have been removed, she added.
The ombudsman urged the regional authorities across Russia to develop a special programs to ensure that children are comfortable and safe in the street, at playgrounds and various public places to decrease the mortality in accidents. The Russian parliament should also come up with a special regulation on operating the facilities that pose a threat to the health and life of children, she added.
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