Bridgend park for gate victim Karolina Golabek , 5

By Tom Singleton
BBC Wales reporter

  • Published

A park has been built in memory of a five-year-old girl who was killed by an automatic gate.

The Karolina Park, in Bridgend, has been named in honour of Karolina Golabek.

The Health and Safety Executive is still investigating her death in the town in July last year, days after another girl's electric gate death.

Karolina's cousin, Anna Cedrzak, said: "I'm so grateful there is a place in her memory, it means a lot for us."

Since her death, Karolina's father, Josef, has also died.

Ms Cedrzak said: "The Bridgend community is amazing. Wherever I go they still ask me about Karolina and Josef, about how I feel.

"I'm speechless - somewhere so far from our country there is a place in her name. We will never forget that."

Karolina was killed by a sliding automatic gate at the entrance to the car park of a block of flats.

The park, in Highland Place, Bridgend, is only a few hundred metres away.

There had been a park on the site before, but it had been shut because of health and safety concerns.

Bridgend Town Council led the £50,000 project to rebuild and reopen it.

Money was provided by Bridgend council, the Bridgend Town Hall Trust Fund, the National Lottery and car maker Ford, which has a factory in the town.

Town council leader, David Unwin, said: "I think because of the accident and the national attention it brought, this is really something Bridgend can be proud of.

Image caption,
Children are already enjoying the new Karolina Park in Bridgend

"It didn't matter that the little girl was Polish, she could have been any nationality.

"We wanted her memory to linger, and for the children around here to realise that out of something tragic, they can have something good."

Local parents have campaigned for the park to be built.

One of them, Suzanne Thomas, said: "After what happened with Karolina, children were playing on the street.


"Now they know there's a safe area to come, and it's a nice meeting place. It's good for the community."

A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said: "The HSE investigation is still ongoing.

"We continue with our inquiries into the incident which we hope to conclude in the near future."

Following Karolina's death, her parents campaigned to raise awareness about the dangers of automatic gates.

Just days before Karolina's death, six-year-old Semelia Campbell was killed in a similar electric gate incident in Manchester.

A petition was handed into Downing Street by both girls' families last October.

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