Investigation into accidental killing after fatal accident during gymnastics class: “Parents of Sidra (4) are devastated” (Zwijndrecht)

Investigation into accidental killing after fatal accident during gymnastics class: “Parents of Sidra (4) are devastated” (Zwijndrecht)
Investigation into accidental killing after fatal accident during gymnastics class: “Parents of Sidra (4) are devastated” (Zwijndrecht)
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On Friday morning around 11 o’clock an accident happened in the Sint-Martinus school during the gymnastics lesson of the ‘bumba class’. Four-year-old Sidra Atmane suffered life-threatening injuries when she became stuck in a gymnastics apparatus during the ‘travel around the world’ game, in which the toddlers had to complete an obstacle course in the gymnastics hall. She was resuscitated by the gymnastics teacher and director and then taken to hospital in a critical condition.

READ ALSO. “Avoid expressions such as ‘she will now sleep forever’”: how do you as a school deal with the classmates of deceased Sidra (4)?

Mourning place

Five days later, little Sidra died from her injuries. “That news hit me very hard,” Geert De Corte, general director of the Catholic Schools on the Scheldt school group, responded to the death. The school decided to set up a mourning place at the school on Wednesday, a day after the death. “There is now a lot of sadness and defeat. We want to give everyone a place to express their feelings. There is a funeral register for those who want to leave a message and there are drawing sheets available for the children,” says the director of the school group. (read more below the photo)

These were tough days for school director Wim Van Ranst and his team of teachers. “Nobody thinks about holidays. All teachers are still very impressed by what happened on Friday. Fortunately, we are well received by the CLB and other authorities. We also see this as something collective, we have to get through this as a team. We don’t want to target that one teacher. It was a fatal accident that just had to happen in his class,” says the school director.

“We are currently preparing everything for the first day of school soon. Parents must return to dropping off their child here with complete confidence. There will then also be specific work per class on the grieving process and how we can close this off. We are not going to do anything publicly, we are trying to make everything go as peacefully as possible out of respect for Sidra’s family,” said Van Ranst. (read more below the photo)

Five days after the accident, little Sidra died from her injuries.

Five days after the accident, little Sidra died from her injuries. — © if

Just became a father myself

A mother and her son, who preferred to remain anonymous, laid flowers at the funeral spot. “When we heard about the accident on Friday, we could only pray for a good outcome, but then the terrible news came on Tuesday. The parents, whom we know well, are devastated. It is terrible what they are experiencing now,” says the mother. “For the time being, they do not want any contact with the school, it is still too early for that. We all have so many questions. Mainly ‘how’ this could have happened.”

READ ALSO. Sidra (4) died in hospital after a gymnastics accident at school

“I sympathize with everyone, the school, the parents, but also the gymnastics teacher. He is a good teacher who also teaches gymnastics to my son. He certainly didn’t want this. He recently became a dad himself. This must be terrible for him too.” The mother also stated that there will be no funeral in Belgium, but that Sidra will be taken to Morocco by her parents to be buried there.

According to Sidra’s parents, an autopsy on the body was conducted on Wednesday. It is therefore not yet clear when the girl can be buried in Morocco.

Accidental killing

The public prosecutor’s office says that the investigation into the exact circumstances of the accident is ongoing. Last weekend, an investigating judge was appointed to investigate unintentional assault and battery. “After the death, this was adjusted to accidental killing,” the spokesperson for the Antwerp public prosecutor’s office said. No further substantive information could be provided at this stage of the research.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Investigation accidental killing fatal accident gymnastics class Parents Sidra devastated Zwijndrecht

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