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Tuesday, 28 August, 2001, 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK
Manslaughter charge over Club Med death
Children playing in swimming pool
Pool safety is a key issue for holiday companies
Two Frenchmen and a Greek worker have been charged with manslaughter over the horrific death of a boy in a Greek swimming pool.

Seven-year-old Alex Blin died after being sucked into the filtering system at a Club Mediterranee holiday centre outside Athens.

The two Frenchmen, who had earlier faced less serious charges, are now facing charges of "voluntary manslaughter with possible premeditation".

Sylvain Barberet-Girardin, manager of the Clubmed Athenia Village, and club maintenance manager Alain Gille are expected to appear befor a Greek examining magistrate on Thursday, said lawyer Nikos Androulakis.

Rescue attempt

Greek maintenance worker Yannis Dimarelis has been freed pending further proceedings, after already appearing before the magistrate.

The incident which killed Axel happened on 18 August, in a shallow children's pool. Reports at the time said a grille covering the filtering system had been removed by children.

Frantic efforts to pull Axel free failed.

A Greek pathologist who examined his body said the powerful suction equipment had caused massive internal injuries of a kind he had never seen in his 22-year career.

Early closure

Two more Greek employees at the swimming pool are thought to be appearing before magistrates on Wednesday.

The complex is being closed on 2 September, two months early, it was announced earlier this week.

Chief executive Philippe Bourguignon said in a statement that the closure would allow Club Med to help the police investigation.

"At this point, we still don't know the technical cause of the accident," he said.

Club Med ordered inspections of its swimming pools worldwide after the accident.

See also:

22 Aug 01 | Business
Boy dies in Club Med pool
26 Jun 01 | Business
Club Med in deep water
06 Oct 00 | Business
Club Med: On the sunny side at 50
26 Jun 01 | Business
Holiday pay for temps
09 May 01 | Health
Holidays can make you ill
23 Jun 01 | Europe
Pope condemns mass tourism
29 Mar 01 | Business
Travel companies face legal action
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