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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2008, 16:22 GMT
Man accused of sculpture deaths
Maurice Agis inside Dreamspace
Artist Maurice Agis created the first Dreamspace in 1996
The artist who created an inflatable sculpture that killed two women when it flipped over in a freak gust of wind has been charged with manslaughter.

Maurice Agis, 76, from Bow, London, faces a count of gross negligence manslaughter after his Dreamspace sculpture overturned in County Durham.

He was bailed to appear before Peterlee magistrates on 26 February.

Elizabeth Collings, 68, from Seaham, and Claire Furmedge, 38, from Chester-le-Street, both died in 2006.

Another 13 people were hurt when the artwork lifted into the air at the Riverside Park at Chester-lee-Street on 23 July.

Claire Furmedge and Elizabeth Collings
Claire Furmedge and Elizabeth Collings were killed

Mr Agis also faces a charge under health and safety laws.

Liverpool-based promotions company Brouhaha International Ltd and Chester-le-Street District Council have also been charged with breaching the Health and Safety at Work act, in connection with the incident.

The council's director of development services, Tony Galloway, faces a charge on a separate breach of the act.

They are all due to appear before Peterlee Magistrates' Court on 26 February.

Durham Police said Mr Agis had been charged at Charing Cross police station in London.

"These proceedings follow a lengthy investigation by Durham Constabulary and the Health and Safety Executive," a spokesman said.

"The families of those killed and the people injured have been informed of the developments."

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Mobile phone footage of the Dreamspace incident



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