Alexia Walenkaki inquest opens into death in Mile End playpark
PUBLISHED: 09:20 11 April 2016 | UPDATED: 09:43 11 April 2016
The inquest opens today into the tragic death of a five-year-old child in a children’s playground in London’s East End.
Little Alexia Walenkaki died after play equipment crashed in Mile End Park in front of her mother on a summer’s evening last July.
She was balancing with three school pals on a log frame which crashed down, hitting her on the head. Alexia’s mum, Vida Kwotuah, rushed forward with other mothers and tried to revive her.
But Alexia died in hospital less than two hours later—just a day before her sixth birthday.
“This was a tragic incident and my thoughts are with Alexia’s family today as the inquest opens,” Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs said. “The council continues to co-operate fully with the investigation by police and Health & Safety Executive.”
An ambulance and London’s Air Ambulance trauma team arrived within seven minutes of the tragedy on July 17 at the playpark in Locksley Street, off Burdett Road, which is run by Tower Hamlets council.
Efforts to resuscitate her on the way to the Royal London in Whitechapel were in vain.
Parents and wellwishers later laid floral tributes to the “little angel at peace” at the gates of the playpark—which was closed immediately afterwards while police and the Health & Safety Executive began an investigation.
One tribute read: “Forever in my thoughts, darling Alexia. May God Rest You in Peace, little angel. Love always from Marie and Frank (mum and dad).”
Alexia was one of four little girls balancing on logs held up by wooden supports when the play equipment crashed.
One witness at the time told the East London Advertiser: “The children fell down when the frame collapsed, but seemed alright.
“Then as the girl got up, one of the poles fell on her and hit her head. My daughter tried to revive her and was speaking to paramedics on her mobile phone before the ambulance arrived who told her to clear the blood and give her mouth-to-mouth.”
Prayers were said two days later at the church where the family from nearby Carr Street prays regularly, St Dunstan’s in Stepney, when the vicar announced her death.
A special assembly was also held the next day at her school, Stepney Greencoat Church of England Primary.
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