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Toddler Dies in Fall Into Sewer After Pavement Collapses in Russian City

Community Expresses Outrage Over Sudden Sinkhole, Boy's Death

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By Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post Reporter
January 9, 2012|1:51 pm

The body of a Russian toddler was discovered Monday afternoon in Bryansk, Russia, after he fell with his mother through a sinkhole as they were taking a walk in the city.

The tragedy occurred Sunday afternoon, BBC News reported, as the mother, 26-year-old Tatyana Didenko, was walking her young son, Kiril, in a stroller. The pavement suddenly collapsed beneath them and the boy slipped from the stroller and disappeared inside the gaping hole. Didenko managed to hang on to the edge of the pavement.

Her husband, a traffic police officer who was on duty in the area, rushed to her rescue and managed to pull her out with the help of a rope. Didenko was sent to the hospital in a state of shock, but rescue workers were not immediately able to locate the one-and-a-half-year-old boy. Eventually, rescuers found Kiril's body a day later in a sewage collector 3.5 miles from the spot where he had dropped into, according to reports.

A burst pipeline is being blamed for the incident, with Bryansk regional governor Nikolai Denin suggesting to Russia 24 TV that recent mild weather might have been the cause of the accident, which led to sand below the pavement washing away. Denin warned that unless the city starts rebuilding its infrastructure, such a tragedy could happen again.

The incident has sparked anger among Bryansk’s residents, who are saying authorities' carelessness and negligence caused the incident, RT.com reported. An anonymous resident was quoted as asking: “What are our community services busy with, if such a hole could have appeared in the city center?”

The case is being treated as criminal manslaughter by investigators. Pavel Astakhov, Russian Children’s Rights Ombudsman, called for authorities to start inspecting the city's roads and services for any similar problems. It is being reported that the region's governor has promised the Didenko family that they will be compensated for their loss.

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