A 15-year-old Ontario girl died Wednesday after an unsecured soccer net toppled over, trapping her underneath.
The girl, whose identity has not been released by police, was playing at a Bradford, Ont. soccer field with a friend of the same age. While it’s unclear how the net fell over, the girl became trapped under the crossbar, reports the Toronto Sun.
South Simcoe police said the girl was treated on scene after her friend called 911, but she later died in hospital.
Bradford's manager of parks and property Mike O’Hare arrived at the scene later in the afternoon, but did not comment on the police’s ongoing investigation into how the accident could have occurred.
“It’s a terrible thing,” he told the Sun, “I’m just sick for the family.”
Global News also spoke to Eric Knibbe, who lives across the street and witnessed paramedics trying to save the girl.
“When I came out I saw them administering CPR and giving oxygen. Then a helicopter arrived, but did not leave for a while.”
Injuries and deaths from unsecured or moveable soccer goal posts are not all that uncommon.
An Illinois-based organization, Anchored for Safety, reports that between 1979 and 2012, there have been 38 deaths and 56 injuries in North America related to soccer nets falling over.
One of those deaths was a 4-year-old Yukon girl who died in 2012, after a post fell and hit her on the head, according to The Whitehorse Daily Star.
The death led to the territory adopting the 1995 Guidelines for Movable Soccer Goal Safety, a document created by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The guidelines recommend that all unsecured goal posts be anchored or weighted down during use, and then stored away. It also suggests sticking caution stickers on the posts to deter people from climbing or leaning the posts.
While such guidelines exist in many Canadian cities and provinces, there has been national speculation about creating a full ban on unsecured posts, reports The Tyee.
However, a full ban poses a challenge for most parks and public fields that are used for several sports.
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