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Belgian boy drowns in Parc Asterix attraction

Published on July 06, 2006

6 July 2006

BRUSSELS — A six-year-old Belgian boy drowned on Wednesday afternoon in a man-made river at the funfair Parc Astérix near Paris.

The child was among a group of 100 children on a holiday programme from Mont-Saint-Guibert in Wallonian Brabant. The family has been informed of the boy’s death.

Senlis public prosecutor Thierry Pocquet du Haut Jussé said the boy was with a group of friends and supervisors in a boat propelled by rapids, waterfalls and geysers in the attraction ‘La Descente du Styx’.

The boy is alleged to have stood up too early as the boat reached the end point. Another boat gently collided with the boy’s boat, knocking him into the water.

Two people dived in after the boy, but he’d disappeared in the artificial waves of the attraction. When he was found 20 minutes later, resuscitation efforts were of no avail. The boy’s body was then taken to the Creil hospital.

The prosecution has closed the attraction down to await the results of an investigation.

The Mont-Saint-Guilbert mayor and the co-ordinator of the municipal holiday programme said all regulations were followed.

They stressed that there was there were two registered supervisors with the group of 22 children. The group could legally have had 24 children.

The mayor and co-ordinator have not raised questions about the safety of the Parc Astérix attraction.

The management of the park has reacted with shock and expressed its condolences to the boy’s family. It is assisting with judicial inquiries.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news