The outside walls of a popular St. Boniface tourist attraction are coming down in light of a disaster that sent 17 children and one adult to hospital.
Fort Gibraltar has been closed to the public since a walkway collapsed at the end of May, sending a group on a field trip tumbling 20 feet to the ground.
Festival du Voyageur, which manages the city-owned site, announced Thursday that the walls of the fort — a 1970s reconstruction of a historic trading post — will be taken down before the next edition of the festival in February.
City, Festival du Voyageur, failed to provide safe setting for injured child, lawyer says
Since the incident, the family of one of the students has filed a lawsuit against both Festival du Voyageur and the City of Winnipeg, claiming that the child in question is at risk of permanent disability as a result.
The walkway had gone without a safety inspection since 2006 and the lawsuit claims the city and the festival “failed to maintain the premises in a reasonable state of repair” and allowed the premises to “enter an unsafe condition.”
In its statement Thursday, the festival said it continues to review the incident and prioritize the health and safety of those who visit the site, located in Whittier Park.
Due to the ongoing lawsuit, the festival said it was unable to provide further comment. The 2024 edition of the annual event — the largest winter festival in Western Canada — is set to run from Feb. 16-25 of next year.
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