Death trap on Viseu public highway kills 13-year-old

The family of a 13-year-old who unwittingly careered to her death through a wafer-thin concealed ‘skylight’ on a public road in Viseu are demanding answers.

“We want to know who those responsible for her death”, uncle António Loureiro has told reporters, adding that the whole situation “is an outrage”.

Since Inês Esteves fell five metres into an underground garage in the Santa Eugénia neighbourhood, the skylight covering has been replaced and strengthened with “more resistant laminated glass”.

According to tabloid Correio da Manhã, the previous covering was a form of acrylic.

It “had no protection”, says the paper, and there was nothing at street level to warn passers by that it was hidden among the roadside foliage.

What appears to have happened is that Inês was waiting for her tuition centre to open (many schoolchildren attend these after classes in Portugal) and “playing with a friend”.

Says CM, she “jumped onto the skylight”. It’s not clear whether she saw it was a skylight, or whether she simply jumped on the death-trap by chance. But what is certain is that she sustained very serious injuries.

Despite being admitted to two hospitals – Viseu and Coimbra’s children’s hospital – she died the day after the fall.

PSP police are described as investigating.

For now, there is no indication of which authority may be held to blame.

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