Mystery over three-year-old’s death beside party floodlight in Odivelas

EDP has been quick to deny all responsibility but police, firemen and council organisers are still trying to discover what caused the death of three-year-old João Martins at a street party in Odivelas in the early hours of Sunday morning.

According to eye-witnesses, the little boy was next to a temporary post rigged up to support floodlights when he “started trembling with convulsions” and lost consciousness.

His father Pedro Martins scooped up the boy and ran for help, but there was nothing on-duty firemen or INEM rescue workers could do.

After an hour working on João, the child was pronounced dead at Loures’ Hospital Beatriz Ângelo.

Reports explain that “doubts persist among firemen, police and party organisers hired by Odivelas parish council over whether João died of being electrocuted, or whether it was a case of sudden death while he was casually beside the post”.

The child’s family have said that doctors confirmed João’s internal haemorrhaging was consistent with electrocution. “We are going to do everything to find out who is to blame,” they told Correio da Manhã.

In the meantime, EDP and Odivelas parish council have given their sides to the mystery, the former claiming whatever caused João’s tragic death, it cannot be held accountable as the lights were rigged up by party organisers, not EDP.

Nuno Gaudêncio, of Odivelas parish council, added further confusion to the mix by saying the floodlight was not connected to an electrical supply, and had been “disconnected for the last two days”.

All these questions may be answered later today when João’s body is due to be autopsied.

For the time being, CM is running with the headline: “Three-year-old boy dies electrocuted”.

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