Investigations are still ongoing into the tragic death of a three year old boy who was crushed in the lift shaft of a Galway city office building this week.
Since the tragic incident, which happened last Monday, two separate investigations are being carried out by Gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority respectively into how the incident could have happened and whether there were any breaches of health and safety regulation in relation to the lift shaft in question.
The boy, named locally as Solomon Soremekun, was with his mother and three sisters at the office of the Department of Social Protection in the Hynes Building on Augustine Street when he is believed to have strayed from his family and entered the lift shaft of the building.
The young boy’s mother raised the alarm shortly after, at approximately 3pm, when he was discovered to be trapped in the shaft and the emergency services were called immediately. The Galway Fire Brigade, an ambulance, and the Gardaí rushed to the scene of the accident and made every effort to save the boy, however he sustained horrific and ultimately fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. It is reported that the recovery operation to retrieve Solomon’s body from the shaft lasted more than three quarters of an hour.
Solomon and his family, originally from Nigeria, are believed to have been new to Galway city, having only settled in a housing estate in Doughiska in recent weeks after a permanent move from Dublin.
Following the incident and the subsequent forensic examinations which were carried out by Gardaí, the offices housed within the building have now partially reopened. However the front doors, foyer, and lift area where the tragedy occured remain closed off to the public pending the results of the investigation.
The Hynes Building is one of Galway city’s landmark office buildings, housing the social welfare offices, the Galway City Library, and the offices of RTE West.