Eleven accused in ice sculpture accident that killed two-year-old boy

Investigations into the 2019 Knuedler crash were supposed to be completed this summer. Shortly before, one of the accused requested additional checks.

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Maximilian RICHARD

Investigations into the 2019 Knuedler crash were supposed to be completed this summer. Shortly before, one of the accused requested additional checks.

Parts of a 700-kilogram block hit a young boy on the night of November 24, 2019. Emran died on the way to the hospital. He was two years and ten months old. Three years after the accident on the Knuedler, the parents are still waiting for answers, with the investigation of the case still ongoing.

The investigating judge wanted to conclude the investigations at the end of July. However, according to the Public Ministry, the lawyer of one of the accused had asked for further verifications shortly before. As a result, the conclusion of the investigation was once again postponed.

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The wreckage of the ice floe.

Photo: Anouk Antony

The Public Ministry does not identify the 11 accused

Immediately after the accident, an investigation into involuntary manslaughter was opened, with an investigating judge later charging eleven people. The Public Ministry does not want to make any statements about the identity of the accused. Only after the investigation is completed will a judicial council chamber decide which of these will have to answer to the court.



The Public Ministry ordered an investigation, however, a year later, the causes of the fatal incident have not yet been fully ascertained.


Therefore, official information about their identity is still lacking. However, questions about the possible liability of all involved are likely to play a significant role in the investigation. According to the report, many actors can be considered as possible defendants: for example, the sculpture’s designer, the employer, the sculpture’s customer or even the organizers of the capital’s Christmas market.

Sculpture for use by visitors

The three-part ice sculpture had been made just three hours before the incident and placed not far from the ice rink in front of the Knuedler. The installation, commissioned by the Luxembourg City Tourist Office, was conceived as a “participatory sculpture”.



The block of ice that fell must have weighed about 700 kilograms.


A hiding place placed on the sleigh invited visitors to the capital’s Christmas market to sit on it. An opportunity that many families took advantage of to take souvenir photographs. This was also the case for Emran’s family: when the boy sat down on one of the sleds around 8 pm, the 2.5-metre-high replica of a wooden chalet facade toppled over behind the sled.

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The boy was remembered with candles and flowers after the accident.
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The boy was remembered with candles and flowers after the accident.

Photo: Gerry Huberty

Later, an expert on design of ice pointed out to the Luxemburger Wort that such an accident should not have happened. Such a high wall had to stand safely. According to the expert, there was an error during the construction of the structure. Luxembourg City reacted to the accident and has since decided to do away with ice sculptures at Christmas markets.

(This article was originally published in the Luxemburger Wort and translated to Contacto by Tiago Rodrigues.)

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Eleven accused ice sculpture accident killed twoyearold boy

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