Tilburg could face €60,000 fine for baby's swimming pool death

Lady Justice (Picture: Twitter/@danvelton). (Lady Justice (Picture: Twitter/@danvelton))

The Public Prosecutor demanded a 60 thousand euro fine against the municipality of Tilburg in the court in Breda on Tuesday. According to the prosecutor, the city's negligence in performing proper maintenance led to a fatal accident in which a 5 month old baby was killed at a local swimming pool in 2011, ANP reports.

The accident happened at the Reeshof pool on November 1st 2011. Two speakers fell from the ceiling, killing the baby and injuring the baby's mother. This accident could easily have been prevented if the municipality properly maintained the bolts that held the speakers up, according to the prosecutor.

The municipality was aware from 2006 that fixing the speakers to the ceiling with stainless steel bolts was risky. Several warnings were issued that the bolts needed replacing. The municipality neglected to do so. The municipality acknowledged this in court on Tuesday.

The hearing revealed that a multitude of procedures and communication between departments of the municipality left a lot to be desired. A municipal secretary stated that the problems were addressed and adjustments were made. "A number of people did not realize how unsafe it was. Now with unsafe situations there are no more discussions about budgets." The municipality paid an unknown amount in compensation to the baby's family.

Tilburg Mayor Peter Noordanus expressed his condolences to the baby's family in court on Tuesday and said that he and the city will submit to the court's ruling. "We say and believe that we made mistakes and too long worked at cross purposes. We accept responsibility for that. Moreover we checked all our buildings following this. Improvements were made to prevent accidents. We spent 4.6 million euros on that."