Mayor Charged in Fairground Death

ATHENS – The mayor of the seaside community of Elliniko is facing criminal charges for violation of duty in the aftermath of the death of a 13-year-old boy in a fairground accident.

A prosecutor recommended Mayor Christos Kortzidis be brought to trial for failing to see that the fairground be lawfully licensed and operated safely.

The boy was killed and his nine-year-old sister injured when a gust of wind blew a water roller across the grounds last month, smashing into objects.

The prosecutor said a report by state inspectors found that no study had been conducted to determine whether the Elliniko premises were appropriate for the operation of a fairground.

The report highlighted serious shortfalls on the part of the municipal authorities, which were found to have rented out the site illegally.

A probe by public administration officials into the death of a 13-year-old at a fairground in Elliniko, southern Athens, last month has highlighted serious shortfalls on the part of the local municipality, which was found to have rented out the site illegally.

Inspectors earlier gave their findings to Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who described them as “disheartening.”

“The fairground should never have operated and that is something that should concern us all,” he said, noting that the improvement of the institutional framework governing child play areas was as important as the attribution of responsibility for the fatal accident at Elliniko.

The probe found the Elliniko Municipality had broken the law when it rented the site to a company that had not applied for an operating license and used 2,450 square meters instead of the 700 square meters it had paid to rent. Inspectors also found that local authorities did not conduct any inspections at the site, which lacked basic safety measures.

Four people – the Greek manager of the fairground, an Italian national who rented him equipment and two Bangladeshi workers – also face criminal charges, although the manager said it was a freak accident and that equipment was new.