Coroner calls for netting around hockey rinks after death of 12-year-old girl

A tragic incident in Quebec could result in changes to hockey rinks in Canada.

Annie Alaku-Papigatuk, 12, was killed after being struck by a puck at a local hockey game on April 1, 2017.

Her death came almost exactly 15 years after the death of a 13-year-old Brattanie Cecil at a Columbus Blue Jackets game, which resulted in rinks around North America adding netting behind each goal.

Now, a Quebec coroner is calling for similar measures to be taken after the death of Alaku-Papigatuk, but this time it would be the installation of nets around the entire rink.

That coroner, Steeve Poisson, says a protective net around the perimeter of the arena would probably have saved the young girl’s life.

She was sitting in the second row around the middle of the rink when the puck left play and struck her near her right eyebrow.

Poisson’s report says she started crying, but did not lose consciousness and said she was okay.

Alaku-Papigatuk applied a snow-filled bag to where the puck hit her head and was accompaned home.

Later on, the 12-year-old complained of a headache and started to vomit, and in the morning her father noticed she wasn’t breathing.

He rushed her to the local health centre where medical personnel tried unsuccessfully to revive her.

Although Poisson’s call for protective netting around the entire arena is only to Quebec officials, it’s surely something that will catch wind and be considered around North America, similar to in 2002.