FUKUOKA (TR) – A 10-year-old boy in Okawa City was killed by a falling soccer goal that wasn’t properly secured to the ground, school board officials said on Friday.
Police said fourth-grader Haruto Umezaki was hanging from the two-meter-tall, three-meter-wide steel goal on the grounds of Kawaguchi Elementary School when he hopped down and crouched before it rocked and crashed down onto him, Nippon News Network reports (Jan. 14).
The boy, usually a goalkeeper, was rushed to a hospital where he died four hours later, police said.
Tetsuya Kii, chair of the city’s Board of Education, said the incident was “caused by a deficiency in school equipment for which safety inspections are a necessity. This was immensely regrettable.”
The unsecured goal was missing two of its four stakes that keep it anchored to the ground, school board officials said. Ropes fixing the goal to the stakes were also broken.
The school’s three other goals were anchored.
Goals at the school are supposed to be inspected every month, but the goal that killed the boy was last examined in October, NHK reported (Jan. 13).