Russian city authorities probed after icicle kills child
Authorities in Russia's second city of Saint Petersburg were under public scrutiny Friday following a tragic incident in which a child was killed by a falling icicle.
Six-year-old Vanya Zavyalov was killed on the spot on Thursday in the northwestern city after a block of ice fell on his head from the roof of a five-storey building. The boy was walking with his grandmother.
Russia's investigative committee of prosecutors said in a statement on Friday that it opened a criminal probe into the boy's death and is trying to identify managers of the maintenance organizations responsible for the roof works, who "allowed for criminal negligence."
A deputy of the Russian parliament, Oksana Dmitriyeva, took a step further Friday and demanded the local prosecutor launch a probe into higher city authorities, notably its governor Valentina Matviyenko.
A total of seven children have been hospitalised in the city since the beginning of the year with injuries from falling ice, including two in critical condition.
At least two people have already died this winter in accidents related to poor snow removal in Saint Petersburg.
A two-year old girl sitting on a sleigh and an 89-year old woman were run over by the city's trucks on the street as sidewalks became inaccessible due to huge piles of snow.
© 2011 AFP