British girl, seven, is killed in horror speedboat crash in Albania

British girl, seven, is killed instantly when she’s hit by speedboat propellers while playing in the sea during family holiday to Albania

  • Jonada Avdia, seven, killed while swimming in sea near Potam Beach, Albania
  • British-born girl was on holiday with her Albanian-born parents when she died 
  • Jonada was playing in the sea when speedboat drove through area designated only for swimmers to drop people off on the beach
  • Boat was heading back out to sea when propeller hit Jonada, killing her instantly 

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A seven-year-old British girl has been killed in a horrifying speedboat accident while on holiday with her parents in Albania.

The girl, named locally as Jonada Avdia, was playing in the sea near Potam beach, in the south of the country, on Tuesday around 2pm when she was killed.

Jonada, who lived with Albanian-born father Bledar and her mother in Barking, east London, was fatally wounded when off-duty policeman Arjan Tase drove a speedboat through an area designated for swimmers and hit her.

Arjan Tase

Arjan Tase

Jonada Avdia, seven (left), died on Tuesday when she was hit by a speedboat driven by Arjan Tase (right), and off-duty police officer who has now been arrested

Avdia was swimming around 15ft off of Potam Beach, in southern Albania, when Tase drove his boat (pictured) through a restricted area and hit her, local police say

Avdia was swimming around 15ft off of Potam Beach, in southern Albania, when Tase drove his boat (pictured) through a restricted area and hit her, local police say

Avdia was swimming around 15ft off of 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 has been arrested – was taking members of his own family from Porto Palermo to Potam when the crash happened.

They say he drove through an area meant only for swimmers, that was clearly marked with buoys, and up on to the beach.

After dropping off his relatives he put the boat back into the water in the same area, then hit Jonada as she played around 15ft off shore.

The boat’s spinning propeller blades ’caused serious injuries that led to immediate loss of life’, a police spokesman said.

Tase is now being investigated for ‘negligent homicide’ while 15 police officers who were supposed to be guarding the water that day have been sacked.

Tase, reportedly a police chief from the city of Elbasan, is also due to appear in court in Vlora today.

Hundreds of candles and flowers have been placed where Jonada lost her life, as well as in front of the Prime Minister’s Office. 

15 police officers who should have been guarding the ocean that day (pictured) have since been sacked, while protests have broken out around the country.

15 police officers who should have been guarding the ocean that day (pictured) have since been sacked, while protests have broken out around the country.

15 police officers who should have been guarding the ocean that day (pictured) have since been sacked, while protests have broken out around the country.

Protests have also broken out across the country in fury at the death, with dozens of marchers clashing with police in the capital of Tirana yesterday.

They are called for the resignation of the interior minister, the head of police, and the tourism minister – accusing the state of killing Jonada, local media says. 

It is the third such accident to happen on the beaches of Albania this summer.

A couple were injured by a speedboat on Jale beach, also in southern Albania, last month – while a second seven-year-old child was hurt in a crash just two days later.

Mirela Kumbaro, the tourism minister, has laid blame for the crash at the feet of Tase and the national chief of police.

She told Albanian Daily News: ‘An angel is no longer among us because of the stupidity of a man who broke every law, every rule and every norm with tragically irreversible consequences.

‘With awareness that there are no words to serve as a consolation for the parents, the family for the tragedy they suffered, the request goes to justice to do its job, without compromise, with maximum punishment for anyone who breaks the law.

‘The request goes to the state police as well, to each of its employees in the territory, to be at the level of vigilance and punishment that the uniform imposes on them.’ 

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