Adventist church mourns tragic death of child

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Sydney, New South Wales

An eight-year-old boy has been killed after an accident at a construction site at an Adventist church property in Sydney. 

Our whole community is heartbroken. There is nothing more precious to us than our children . . . Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers. We are all in deep shock.

Erwin Makafana was playing at the back of the Sydney Tongan Seventh-day Adventist Church’s five-acre property in Leppington when stored building materials fell on top of him. The church was in the process of finishing construction of a new function hall.

“Apparently there was a number of people out there with children, the children were playing as children do, they have wandered over to the materials,” Inspector Mick Pearsall told Nine News.

“Unfortunately as kids do they played and didn’t realise the danger in these things, and a number of these blocks has trapped one of the children.”

Emergency services were called to the church property at 1:30pm and rushed the boy to Liverpool hospital. He was pronounced dead on arrival.

Erwin’s parents were on the church property at the time of the accident. His father, a builder and the church’s treasurer, was helping to put in a sound wall around the hall. 

Church friends and members of Sydney’s Tongan community have gathered at the hospital to support the family.

“I am devastated by this accident. Our whole community is heartbroken. There is nothing more precious to us than our children,” said Tongan church pastor Sitiveni Fine Teaupa. “We are going to thoroughly investigate how this accident occurred. All work on the site has been ended until we complete the review.

“Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers. We are all in deep shock.”