News24

3-year-old survives 8m fall at mall - report

2013-01-31 18:47

Johannesburg - A 3-year-old boy survived an 8m fall unscathed at a Johannesburg shopping centre on Thursday, The Star newspaper reported.

"It's a miracle," the boy's father George Asvestis said.

"I witnessed that. I was expecting the worst as a parent."

Asvestis was waiting for photos to be developed at Bedford Centre on Thursday morning when his son fell through a gap in a balustrade.

The boy, Stefano, hit the ground near a coffee shop, landing on his stomach.

After tests and a full examination, doctors found Stefano had no major injuries and not a single broken bone.

Asvestis told The Star no one from the centre had yet contacted him.

Bedford Centre manager Debbie Sharnock told the publication she was glad the child was fine.

"This is obviously under investigation, but the priority now is the well-being of the kid and the father.

"It is an absolute miracle that he is fine, it was quite a fall," she was quoted as saying.

She said she would be in a better position to comment when she had all the facts.

Comments
  • ianthe.exall - 2013-01-31 19:20

    Thankfully the little one is alright. Dad, please hold his hand in future. Not a good place for a little one to be "exploring" on his own.

      marilyn.docherty.9 - 2013-02-01 10:18

      HOpefully they do something to fix the balustrade so this never happens again!

      debduplessis - 2013-02-01 11:02

      Shopping center ballistrade is still subject to proper occupation, health & safety standards --- clearly this has fallen short. Family have case against shopping center

  • logical007 - 2013-01-31 19:25

    "Asvestis was waiting for photos to be developed at Bedford Centre on Thursday morning when his son fell through a gap in a balustrade." So tired of parents that blame other people when there kids have an accident yet they themselves were not watching their own child!!!!! Yes Kids are 24/7! And yes. they are your responsibility!

      Nico Myburg - 2013-01-31 19:53

      you dont have kids do ya

      ifeanyi.ofunne.5 - 2013-01-31 20:08

      Hear, hear for the world's greatest parent. So easy to sit on your couch and spew high falluting bile! Apparently you don't have kids, so it's easy to yak off. Besides, in all your parental perfection, at least acknowledge the miracle of the toddler's lucky escape, and rejoice with the parents in your heart. One day if you ever have kids, write us a book and maybe we'll learn a thing ir two from you!

      richardjs - 2013-01-31 20:10

      Clearly. Ignorant troll.

      Dawn Campbell Gibson - 2013-01-31 20:25

      Logical - you clearly have the wrong name. Logically no parent can prevent all accidents from happening, as far as i can see, from the article, thats exactly what it was - an accident. Do you have a parent of the year award???

      ifeanyi.ofunne.5 - 2013-01-31 20:40

      Besides, you must be the world's first bionic 'omni-visioned ' parent(assuming you are one) because in the time you spent browsing the net, typing and posting your ingenious comment, you must have kept a24/7 eye on your kid(s)!! Wow. Please write us that book. We mere mortals need to tap from your inexhaustible parental wisdom.

      lauren.geral.3 - 2013-01-31 22:44

      Accidents happen so quickly! Don't judge parents untill u have kids an get a parent of the year award! Just be glad the little boy is perfectly fine! Why people comment if they have nothing nice/ positive to say only they will know!!!

      koo.doyle - 2013-02-01 07:16

      Accidents do happen, no-one is disagreeing. However, Asvestis is clearly expecting someone from the centre to contact him? Does this not suggest that he feels Bedford centre is somehow liable? All of you who are so rude to Logical007, is it then your contention that it was NOT the father's responsibility to watch his child? That kids are not a 24/7 committment? Or that they are in fact, not the father's responsibility?

      karen.t.hawkey - 2013-02-01 10:14

      Who says he wasn't watching the child? Development of photos takes a while, so he was standing outside, leaning against the ballustrade waiting and watching passing traffic .... the gaps in the ballustrade should not be wide enough for a child to fit through! Totally a centre management issue! The father must be incredibly traumatised by this as it is without people's nasty comments about how bad a parent he is! To the father .... you are in my thoughts ... all will be well!

      koo.doyle - 2013-02-01 10:30

      I do not agree that its a centre management issue. It is not reasonable to expect shopping centres, and similar public places, to be child proofed. When taking your kids to these places, it is your job to keep an eye on them, no-one elses. For example, if you weren't watching your child and he fell down the stairs, would that be a centre issue? Kids at that age are not only very curious, but highly mobile, and parents need to be aware. No-one is saying he's a bad parent, they're just saying it was responsibility.

      gordon.freedman.35 - 2013-02-01 11:20

      How tired I am of hearing from these so called experts, parents this and parents that. It doesnt take minutes for accidents to happen but rather a split second, and there will never be a safe guard for this, thankfully the child is fine. Everyone knows how to raise a child except that childs parents, everyone is always an expert on everything.

      koo.doyle - 2013-02-01 12:35

      Sorry Gordon, but I totally fail to see what this has to do with child rearing. The point that some of us are trying to make, is keep an eye on your kids - exactly your point, accidents happen in a split second. No one is saying he's a bad father here.

      karen.t.hawkey - 2013-02-01 17:57

      @ koo.doyle ... the child didn't fall down the stairs though (that would simply be an accident - all kids fall on stairs somewhere along the line), he fell through the ballustrades that shouldn't have been wide enough apart for him to fit through!!! Therefore ... centre management issue :-p

  • merry.martin.944 - 2013-01-31 19:26

    Wow, so nice to read a "good news" story! I am so glad the little one is fine. Bet Dad had the shakes for hours after!

  • samantha.meyer.3975012 - 2013-01-31 19:32

    I believe this is Gods protection.the centre should sort the balustrade out too!

  • MUFHENI - 2013-01-31 19:36

    Jehova Adonai! Jehova el sali! Jehova Nissi! That is a true miracle! The boy belongs to God,I prophesy:the boy shall serve God whole heartedly before he leaves planet earth!Amen.

      molofishy - 2013-01-31 20:08

      Are you on drugs? ;)

      Mathabo Maphosa - 2013-01-31 20:09

      amen brother

      Barefoot - 2013-01-31 21:51

      so those that get hurt don't belong to God?

  • frederick.kobo - 2013-01-31 20:04

    Wow, his father must be Chuck Norris

  • Ntutu Dlova - 2013-01-31 20:05

    its thru,u take a kid to the mall,look after him/her. Lucky kid,they don't make them like u anymore.

  • suerita.fortuin - 2013-01-31 20:17

    this is the second something like this has happened. here in CT at cape gate mall last year a 3yr old also fell through the gap of a railling.the fact that they both survived is living proof that god is watching over us.

      suerita.fortuin - 2013-01-31 21:22

      .'second time'...sorry,missing word.

  • cheri.wardgray - 2013-01-31 20:18

    thank God

  • obed.p.motau - 2013-01-31 20:20

    Wow indeed miracles do happen.

  • randall.j.coetzee - 2013-01-31 20:22

    For once good News... Absolutely amazing

  • makarapakaplan - 2013-01-31 20:52

    8m??? What tape measure are they using? They lie!!! there is no 8m drop between floors in Bedfordview shopping center

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2013-01-31 21:08

    Lucky he is o.k. when my children were young, I always had a child harness on them so that they could not get into any danger. Why don't the parents of today do the same, a child harness will keep your child safe and next to you, not wondering around a shopping center where you cant see them, and it would also keep them safe from kidnappers as well

      karen.t.hawkey - 2013-02-01 10:21

      I also had a harness for my kids when they were little, but this child was not wandering around the centre unattended, the father was right there!

  • mzwandile.dlamanzi - 2013-01-31 21:37

    I wonder who designed those balustrades, with such a gap?? Or was the client trying to save on some steel?

  • sabine.dittmann - 2013-01-31 23:22

    Thank God and bless his little cotton socks :-)

  • simon.carter.5836711 - 2013-02-01 05:51

    The 'kid?' There were goats there too?

  • Moi - 2013-02-01 09:47

    So glad he is ok. I'm sure dad's heart must have skipped a beat.

  • stirrer.stirrer - 2013-02-01 09:49

    "Asvestis was waiting for photos to be developed at Bedford Centre on Thursday morning when his son fell through a gap in a balustrade." So what's the moral of this story? Go digital.

  • Blemz - 2013-02-01 10:36

    Lucky Hes fine. But why is there a gap big enough for a kid to fit. Surely the centres management should make it child safe as its a public place. And to the dad.....You need to get a childs leash or put him in the trolley. These small people are faster than we can see

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