Basketball pole falls on Tel Aviv teen, killing him
The boy was playing basketball with two friends on the outdoor court of the Aviv Elementary School.
A 15-year-old boy died on Tuesday when a basketball pole fell on him during a pick-up game with friends in Tel Aviv's Ramat Aviv neighborhood.
The boy, whose identity had not been released by police, was playing basketball with two friends on the outdoor court of the Aviv Elementary School.
The friends told police that the pole supporting the hoop and the backboard came loose when he gripped the rim after a dunk shot, falling directly on the teen and crushing him.
Paramedic Alon Friedman, the first to arrive at the scene, told Haaretz, "The teen suffered a critical head injury. We got to him and found him not breathing and with no pulse. There was nothing to do but declare him dead," Friedman said.
"He and his friends were playing a friendly game of basketball, Friedman continued, adding, "This was a terrible thing. The police and the family are there."
The Tel Aviv Municipality's Education Department is responsible for maintaining the sports facilities in city schools. The city said last night that it conducts regular inspections and repairs of the fields and courts but could not give a date for the last inspection of the court where the accident occurred.
The city dispatched an investigation team to the site immediately after the incident. The city's Welfare Department was instructed to counsel the family.
City Councilman Reuven Ladiansky of the opposition Let Live faction demanded that the police investigate possible negligence on the part of the municipality and the school.
"I demand that Mayor [Ron] Huldai investigate the physical condition of the equipment in the city in places where teens and children play, particularly during this period of summer vacation," Ladiansky said. "We will not tolerate a situation in which the city's children are abandoned and playground installations become dangerous places.
"One's heart aches from this terrible tragedy. It can't be allowed to pass," Ladiansky added.
Five months ago a 17-year-old boy was seriously injured when a metal light pole fell on him while he was working with his Scouts troop in north Tel Aviv. The 15-meter-high pole fell when a gust of wind tugged at a jute mat that had been attached to the poles with ropes.
The base of the pole was later found to be rusted through.