Wednesday 13 November 2019

Children hurt as school ceiling collapses

Primary school children (stock photo)
Primary school children (stock photo)

Hayden Smith

Seven children were hurt when part of a ceiling collapsed during assembly at a private school.

The pupils suffered minor injuries in the incident in the main hall at GEMS Hampshire School in Chelsea, south west London, this morning.

London Ambulance Service said it was called at 9.26am and checked over a total of 15 children aged between nine and 12.

A spokesman said: "We treated seven of these children for minor injuries, such as dust in their eyes and bruises. They were taken to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital."

Officers from London Fire Brigade also attended.

In a statement the school said a safety assessment is being carried out to determine the cause of the incident.

It added: "The parts of the building affected have been cordoned off.

"Our priority is the welfare of the pupils that have been affected and we will do everything possible to support them."

A spokesman for the service said:"Part of the ceiling in the assembly hall came down, thankfully no one was trapped.

"Fire crews made the area safe and left the scene in the hands of the building owners."

In a message to parents posted on the school's website the headmaster Donal Brennan said the seven children taken to hospital have all been discharged.

He said: "I write to bring to your attention that during assembly this morning an area of plaster came away from the ceiling.

"We evacuated all of the children immediately and once the fire chief assured us that it was safe to do so we returned into the school.

"Those few children who needed minor medical attention have been attended to by the emergency services and their parents have been informed.

"We are delighted to be able to inform you that all children who received further treatment have been discharged home."

GEMS Hampshire is an independent day school for girls and boys aged between three and 13.

Fees for full day pupils in the main prep school cost more than £5,000-a-term.

A spokesman for Kensington and Chelsea council said: "We are aware of an incident this morning at the school.

"The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been notified. Council officers will be visiting the site to assist, as appropriate, in any investigation into why this ceiling collapsed."

The HSE confirmed it is aware of the incident and is "making inquiries".

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News