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Girl (6) dies after choking on food at school

A SIX-YEAR-OLD girl died after choking on a piece of food at her school.

Chantelle Firth was rushed to hospital after the accident at Pentland Primary School in Billingham, Teesside, but medics were unable to save her.

Police are investigating to determine how the incident occurred.

Shocked parents have said they are considering withdrawing their children from the school.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said officers were called to the school at 1.05pm on Thursday.

She said: "A six-year-old girl was taken to the University Hospital of North Tees and subsequently died.

"Our thoughts are with the family and we have specialist officers supporting them during this difficult time.

"A post-mortem has been conducted and the girl appears to have died as a result of choking on a piece of food."

Headteacher Hazel Ducker said Chantelle's death had devastated the community.

Parents at the school were informed about the tragedy.

One parent with a son at the Pentland Avenue school said she was considering pulling her child out of the school.

She told the Middlesbrough Gazette: "I am very concerned now. I am considering whether to send him back after the Easter holidays or try and get him into another school.

"I know children have accidents but you wonder how a child can choke to death."

Flowers and teddies have been left at the school gates in tribute.

An inquest was due to be opened today.