Five year old Romeo King was killed yesterday morning at the University of Liberia’s Fendall Campus when a large piece of concrete debris fell on top of him, eye-witnesses told the Daily Observer.
Romeo and his 8-year-old brother Joseph were playing near a large pile of broken concrete slabs when the incident occurred, they said. The debris of concrete slabs are from partially broken structures left on the University grounds after it carried out the demolition of several buildings and shacks in the area more than three months ago to remove squatters from its property, eyewitnesses said.
They said Romeo followed his older brother Joseph to play hide-and-seek and were sliding from the top of the huge pile of concrete pieces when a large piece of concrete fell on the youngster. His brother Joseph began to cry and tried to grab it in an attempt to free his brother.
Mr. Timothy Duo, who ran to help the boy, told the Daily Observer, “Somebody called my attention that a child was under a pile of cement dirt and so I rushed there with three other men but we found out that we were too late.” Mr. Duo and the victim’s father, Samuel King, work in the security department of the Leon Q. Ledlum Central Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory operated by the Ministry of Agriculture at Fendall.
Abraham Siakor, one of the men who helped to remove the victim’s body from under the debris, said what happened to little Romeo now indicates how dangerous the piles of debris and partially demolished structures are to children in the community.
“It took three of us to lift the heavy broken cement from the body,” Siakor told this reporter.
Another eyewitness identified only as Sarah, who sells palm wine not too far from the scene of the incident, said she poured water on the boy in an attempt to revive him after he was removed from under the concrete slab.
Upon reaching the Bentol Health Center, about fifteen minutes’ drive away, Romeo was pronounced dead.
When the boy’s parents, Samuel and Maron King, got the news and arrived at the scene, they both fainted. Mrs. King is pregnant. The incident was reported to officers of the nearby Police Depot by Mr. King’s elder brother, Jerry King. It remains to be seen what the University’s response to the tragic incident will be.