Manchester

Mother sees girl, six, crushed by gate in Manchester

A six-year-old girl died after becoming trapped in an electric gate in Manchester as her mother watched on helplessly.

Emergency services were called to the entrance to flats off Maine Road in Moss Side at about 1930 BST on Monday.

Semelia Campbell was caught between the rolling gate and a brick post.

Her mother Judith Gilroy tried to stop the gate with her fob key and then switched off the electricity but she was unable to save her.

A police officer smashed the motor on the gate to stop it closing further and pulled her out, a police spokesman said.

The youngster went into cardiac arrest and paramedics tried to help her.

They took her to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital where she died a short time later, the ambulance service said.

Ms Gilroy, who had moved to the new development three weeks ago, said Semelia was "beautiful" and "exceptional".

Image caption Police smashed the motor on the gate to stop it closing further

She was playing with her friend when she became trapped in the gate, Ms Gilroy said.

"Maybe she thought she could just get through it and it closed on her," she said.

"It wouldn't open and she just died.

"Living without her - I don't see any point in living really."

Ms Gilroy, 41, called for a full investigation into the accident.

She said: "This should never have happened. The gates are chained up now but they were not secured."

Greater Manchester Police has started a joint inquiry with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Developer 'shocked'

As the site is still under construction and the gate was in a communal area, the HSE must investigate the incident, a spokeswoman said.

A spokesman for Lowry Homes, which is building the development, said: "Lowry Homes is both saddened and shocked at the tragic incident at the Maine Road.

"Our thoughts are with Semelia Campbell's family and friends at this time.

"The company is continuing to co-operate fully with the police and the HSE investigation and, in these circumstances, it is inappropriate for us to comment any further at this stage."

Image caption Semelia was described as "a bubbly girl"

Tributes, including flowers and toys, have already started to be laid next to the wrought-iron gate.

One tribute read: "The best little sister anyone could wish for. I still can't believe you are gone."

Another read: "Rest in peace baby girl."

Semelia's headteacher at The Divine Mercy RC Primary School, Paddy Heneghan, also paid tribute to her.

He said: "Semelia was a lovely, bubbly little girl who loved school and who was very well liked.

"She was friends with everyone and always had a smile for her teachers and friends, many of whom she had known since she started in nursery three years ago.

"Semelia was in school on Monday, and staff as well as pupils have been understandably very upset at the news. She is going to be very much missed by all of us."

Police officers and HSE investigators remained at the scene on Wednesday.

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