Seven-year-old British girl is killed instantly when struck by speedboat propellers while playing in the sea during family holiday in Albania
- Jonada Avdia, seven, was killed while swimming in the sea near Potam Beach, Albania
- The British-born girl was on holiday with her Albanian-born parents when she died
- Jonada was playing in the sea as the speedboat passed through a swimmers-only area to drop people off at the beach
- The boat was heading back out to sea when the propeller struck Jonada, killing her instantly
A seven-year-old British girl has died in a horrific speedboat accident while on holiday with her parents in Albania.
Jonada Avdia was playing in the sea near Potam beach in the south of the country around 2pm on Tuesday when she was killed by a boat driven by Arjan Tase.
Jonada, who lived with Albanian-born father Bledar and her mother in Barking, east London, was mortally wounded when Tase and an off-duty copy were passing through an area closed to swimmers in his speedboat and hit her.
Jonada Avdia, seven (left), died Tuesday when she was struck by a speedboat driven by Arjan Tase (right) and an off-duty police officer, who has now been arrested
Avdia was swimming about 15 feet off Potam Beach in southern Albania when Tase drove his boat (pictured) through a restricted area and hit her, local police say
Police say Tase – who was arrested – was bringing members of his own family from Porto Palermo to Potam when the crash happened.
It is said he passed through a swimmers-only area, clearly marked with buoys, and up onto the beach.
After dropping off his family, he launched the boat in the same area and performed some “dangerous manoeuvres”.
He then beat Jonada as she played about 15 feet offshore.
The boat’s spinning propeller blades “cause serious injuries that resulted in instant deaths,” a police spokesman said.
Tase is now being investigated for “negligent manslaughter” while 15 officers assigned to patrol the water that day have been fired.
Tase, reportedly a police chief from the city of Elbasan, is due to appear in court in Vlora today.
Hundreds of candles and flowers were placed where Jonada lost her life and in front of the Prime Minister’s office.
15 police officers assigned to guard the ocean that day (pictured) have since been fired as protests erupted across the country.
Protests in anger at the death have also erupted across the country, with dozens of protesters clashed with police yesterday in the capital Tirana.
They are demanding the resignation of the home secretary, the police chief and the tourism minister – they blame the state for killing Jonada, local media say.
It is the third accident of this type on Albanian beaches this summer.
A couple was injured by a speedboat on Jale beach, also in southern Albania, last month – while a second child, seven, was injured in an accident just two days later.
Tourism Minister Mirela Kumbaro blames Tase and the national police chief for the crash.
She told Albanian Daily News: “An angel is no longer among us because of the stupidity of a man who has broken every law, rule and norm with tragically irreversible consequences.
“Aware that there are no words to comfort the parents and family for the tragedy they have suffered, the appeal goes to the judiciary to do their job uncompromisingly, with maximum punishment for anyone found violating the violates the law.
“The request also goes out to the state police, to each of their employees in the area, to be at the level of vigilance and punishment that the uniform imposes on them.”