Football club to be prosecuted for fatal dugout collapse

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Football club SC Twijzel will be prosecuted for the collapse of a stone dugout in Twijzel, Friesland in 2014 in which a 10-year-old girl was killed and five other kids were injured, lawyer Liesbeth Poortman said to NU.nl. Poortman filed an Article 12 procedure on behalf of the victims' families in an effort to force the Public Prosecutor to prosecute. The Arnhem-Leeuwarden court approved the procedure.

The court ruled that the football club should be prosecuted for involuntary manslaughter and inflicting grievous bodily harm through negligence. The dugout was damaged by a storm before the accident. According to the court, there is sufficient reason to believe that SC Twijzel did not do enough to make sure that the dugout was safe. 

A fallen tree caused a crack in the dugout in October 2013. That crack was the cause of the fatal collapse on May 21st the following year, according to the investigation. Both the municipality and football association knew about the damage, but did nothing about repairs or emergency measures. 

The file also shows that the dugouts were built by football club volunteers without authorization. And that insofar as any maintenance was done on the dugouts, it was done by the association.

The Public Prosecutor previously concluded that there is insufficient evidence to prove guilt in a criminal case and therefore decided not to prosecute. The court believes otherwise. "Given the gravity of the situation, it is in public interest that SC Twijzel still be prosecuted", the court ruled.

The families are very relieved", Poortman said to NU.nl.

The court previously ruled that the municipality of Achtkarspelen will not be posecuted.

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