Parents in apartments need to be ‘vigilant’

A coroner has warned parents and landlords to be “acutely aware” of the danger of children falling from high-rise buildings.

Brian Farrell was speaking at the inquest into the death of 15-month-old Nikola Batare, who died on Aug 3 after she fell from the top floor of the Cross Guns Quay apartments in Phibsboro, Dublin 7. She died as a result of head injuries.

Returning a verdict of death by misadventure, Dr Farrell said this is the “third or fourth” inquest in recent years where a child has fallen from an apartment block. “Landlords of tenants with children and, indeed, parents need to be acutely aware of the dangers to children of windows that are not secure or childproofed,” said Dr Farrell.

He said he will be writing “once again” to the Private Residential Tenancies Board to emphasise the need for childproofing on windows in “high-risk buildings”.

The court earlier heard that Nikola’s mother, Marina Batare, forgot to close the window in the living room of the sixth-floor apartment after feeding pigeons.

She told the court she had been in the bedroom with another child she was babysitting while Nikola’s stepfather, Mustansar Hussain, cooked in the kitchen.

When she returned to the living room, Nikola was nowhere to be found. Ms Batare went to the window and looked to the ground. She rushed down to her daughter. “She was blue and not moving. I tried to call her but she did not move. Then I panicked and cried and shouted,” she said.

Gardaí cleared the roads to Temple Street Hospital as paramedics tried to resuscitate the baby, but she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.


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