December 24, 2014

Tragic Accident Kills 8-Year-Old Boy at Church in Australia

An 8-year-old boy has been killed after an accident at a construction site at an Adventist church property in Sydney, Australia.

Erwin Makafana was playing at the back of the Sydney Tongan Seventh-day Adventist Church's five-acre property on Tuesday, Dec. 23, when stored building materials fell on top of him. The church was in the process of finishing construction of a new hall.

"Apparently there was a number of people out there with children. The children were playing as children do. They have wandered over to the materials," police inspector Mick Pearsall told Nine News television.

"Unfortunately, as kids do, they played and didn't realize the danger in these things, and a number of these blocks has trapped one of the children," he said.

The hall on the back of the Tongan church property where the accident occurred. Photo: Adventist Record

Emergency services were called to the church property at 1:30 p.m. and rushed the boy to Liverpool hospital. He was pronounced dead on arrival.

Erwin's parents were on the church property at the time of the accident. His father, a builder and the church's treasurer, was helping to put in a sound wall around the hall.

Church friends and members of Sydney's Tongan community have gathered at the hospital to support the family.

"I am devastated by this accident. Our whole community is heartbroken. There is nothing more precious to us than our children," said Tongan church pastor Sitiveni Fine Teaupa. "We are going to thoroughly investigate how this accident occurred. All work on the site has been ended until we complete the review.

"Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers. We are all in deep shock," he said.