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Family in torment after police dub Porto student’s death ‘accidental’

PJ police have changed their take on the tragic death last week of a Porto accountancy student.

Joel Rafael, 20, died of head trauma after a boozy campus party with friends and colleagues.

Initial reports suggested he had been bludgeoned to death after an altercation with four other party goers. But this was later discounted following the consultation of CCTV footage. Police concluded Rafael had simply stumbled as a friend pushed him out of the way.

As the youngster was buried in his hometown of Baião last weekend, relatives were described as in disbelief.

Jornal de Notícias even carried a report on an unnamed source who claimed she had seen Joel attacked as he lay on the ground.

But other papers affirm police refute this, and firmly believe the youngster’s death was a tragic accident.

Social media commentary shows relatives mean to “fight to the end” to discover what really happened.

Joel died in the early hours of Friday morning last week, after being knocked unconscious in the FEUP (engineering faculty) carpark of Porto university.

“Everything indicates that the youngster, allegedly under the effects of alcohol, fell and suffered head trauma when a female friend pushed him out of the way so that he did not get involved in confrontations with a group with whom he had exchanged provocative words,” writes Correio da Manhã.

The friend in question has already said she is devastated by this analysis, as she had no idea that her actions could have had such tragic consequences.

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