Inquiry into death of schoolboy who fell down manhole to take place

Shea John Ryan suffered fatal injuries following the incident on a building site in the Drumchapel area in July 2020.

Inquiry into death of schoolboy who fell down manhole in Drumchapel to take place

A date has been set for a fatal accident inquiry into the death of a schoolboy who fell through a manhole at a building site in Glasgow.

Shea Ryan slipped on a ladder inside the hole close to a play park near his home in Drumchapel on July 16, 2020.

The 10-year-old was able to enter a construction site through an insecure fence before sitting beside the open cover situated 60 metres from the park. 

After the alarm was raised, police attended and officers found Shea lying on his back with his stepdad, Graham Patterson, and a neighbour beside him.

An officer brought Shea to the surface and performed CPR before he was taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital, but he could not be saved.

The cause of death was noted as “head injury and drowning.”

Shea fell more than six metres down the manhole. (Image: HSE) HSE via Supplied

Contractors RJ McLeod were fined £860,000 in April last year after being found to have failed to properly secure the construction site.

An earlier hearing was told that the company “failed to undertake a full assessment on the work area and consider its close proximity to the nearby play park and the risk of children being attracted to the site as well as identify the measures to prevent unauthorised access.”

The company pled guilty to failing to ensure people not in their employment were not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

Now, a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into the circumstances of the tragedy is due to take place between August 26 and September 9 at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

The purpose of a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) includes determining the cause of death; the circumstances in which the deaths occurred, and to establish what, if any, reasonable precautions could have been taken, and could be implemented in the future, to minimise the risk of future deaths in similar circumstances.

Unlike criminal proceedings, FAIs are inquisitorial in nature, and are used to establish facts rather than to apportion blame.

Since the incident, the company has increased its fencing measures and a log has been formed. Manhole covers are also subject to checks.

Motion sensors and solar powered security cameras are also installed.

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