After Leilah’s death: ‘A disaster would have been difficult to prevent’


A large stone became a trap: the cruel death of six-year-old school starter Leilah in a stream bed above the Hohenzoller waterfall in Bad Ischl must be classified as ‘force majeure’. Of course, the two caregivers are still routinely examined.

The terrible accident of little Leilah from Strobl (Salzburg) during a group trip to the Hohenzoller Waterfall on Thursday still causes a stir. As reported, the six-year-old was killed by a rock while playing near a stream bed with seven other children and two caregivers (52, 45).

The little girl had climbed onto the rock, which weighed about 300 pounds, but it suddenly toppled over and buried Leilah underneath. Unfortunately, there was no rescue for the six-year-old; her sister (9) witnessed the tragedy. Both caregivers are now to be investigated for negligent homicide.

“Unfortunately, something like this can happen in nature.”
According to experts, it is almost impossible to predict such a disaster or take preventive measures against it. “The whole thing is terribly tragic, but unfortunately something like this can happen in nature,” said Wolfgang Gasperl, head of flood and avalanche control for the state of Upper Austria. You can hardly protect yourself against it.

“A kind of force majeure”
Christoph Preimesberger, regional manager of the Upper Austria Mountain Rescue Service, also confirms that it takes enormous experience to recognize such dangers. “There are accidents that must be classified as a form of force majeure and that cannot be prevented even with the greatest care.”

For example, even experienced mountain climbers are not immune to chipping or breaking off table-sized boulders and rock scales. Preimesberger: “Unfortunately, a stone chip can also occur again and again.”

Source: Krone


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