Great Britain

Boy, 4, strangled by cord as he went down slide in freak playground accident as classmates find him dead

A LITTLE boy strangled by a cord as he went down a slide during a freak accident in a playground was found dead by classmates, an inquest has heard.

Aldrich Viju, four, was found unresponsive following the tragedy at Angels Childcare Centre in Auckland, New Zealand.

Teachers rushed to try and save him after one of his friends, a young girl, told them the little one was "sleeping and wasn't waking up", the New Zealand Herald reports.

But despite their efforts, Aldrich died at the scene on November 18 2016.

This week, a coroner at Auckland District Court heard the boy had been playing with a toy that had a bungee cord attached to it.

The cord became entangled around his neck as he went down the slide.

Teacher Jiae Kwon began CPR after finding Aldrich at the bottom of the slide.

"The rope was tangled on top of the slide and it caught [his] arm," she said.

"His heart was beating but wasn't breathing."

'IT'S AN UNFATHOMABLE TRAGEDY'

The inquest heard the boy had been dropped off at the centre on in Takapuna by his dad shortly before the tragedy.

The owner of the centre, Bryan McCloughen, said: "We are deeply sorry for Aldrich's death.

"When he lost his life, it impacted us all at the centre."

Fletcher Pilditch, the lawyer for the childcare centre, said staff had still not come to terms with the tragedy four years later.

"To this day the tragedy is unfathomable," he said.

"For them, they still struggle to see how this very brief event wasn't seen straight away.

"This was indeed a tragic accident."

Aldrich died of strangulation.

Worksafe conducted an investigation and found there was no evidence to support a criminal prosecution.

Worksafe Health and Safety inspector Philip Cuff said the likelihood of the hazard being realised by staff was "unforeseeable".

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