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April 19, 2013

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Death of 3-year-old hit by screen ruled an accident

WORK safety and police authorities concluded yesterday that the death of a three-year-old British boy struck by a falling partition in a downtown restaurant on Monday was an accident.

The accident happened at the Kervan Orient Express, a Turkish restaurant, during a private party in a section of the restaurant not yet open to the public. The boy's family is from Turkey.

The work safety administration in Huangpu District said they have no jurisdiction in the case. "Since the restaurant has not officially opened to general public and a private party was held there then, it's not a work safety issue," said an administration official surnamed Zhu.

A witness said the boy, playing with a seven-year-old girl, fell down and touched the partition, which fell on his head. Zhu said the screen, made of wood and glass with two pieces linked together, was 2 meters high and weighed over 50 kilograms. "But the screen has no base affixed to the floor," said Zhu.

Fu Minrong, a Shanghai lawyer, said yesterday that many details need to be cleared up about the accident for a lawsuit to be filed.

"Like whether the party participants paid money to the restaurant, or it's just a family party with no transaction," said the lawyer.

But under most conditions, said Fu, the restaurant "shall be held responsibility for compensation whether it's an accident or not, or whether the restaurant is open to business or not."

A lawsuit could be filed in Shanghai or in the United Kingdom or Turkey, said Fu.


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