London school ceiling collapse: 13 taken to hospital

As reported by the Guardian, 12 children and one adult were hospitalised after a ceiling collapsed at a private school in Dulwich

The ceiling of a year 3 classroom in Rosemead Preparatory school in south London collapsed on the second floor on Monday morning. Sixteen people were treated at the scene by ambulance crews and two members of the teaching staff and 11 children were taken to hospital, the school said. About 20 firefighters and three fire engines were called to the school on Thurlow Park Road in Dulwich at 9.22am on Monday.

By mid-afternoon, the “majority” had been discharged, the chair of the school’s governors, Nick Crawford, said, though he declined to specify how many. He told reporters there were “no life-threatening or life-changing injuries”. Children in year 3 are typically seven or eight. All other children and staff were safely evacuated from the building. The private school has said it is “working closely with the authorities” to understand what caused the incident in one of its classrooms.

Crawford said: “This has been a worrying time for the children involved, their families and the wider school. We understand from initial examinations that there are no concerns regarding the rest of the building, and we will work with the authorities regarding any investigations to be undertaken. We would like to sincerely thank members of staff, the emergency services and those who sent messages of support from the wider community.”

Firefighters carried out a systematic search of the building and confirmed with the school that all pupils and staff were accounted for. The London Fire Brigade was called at 9.22am on Monday and the incident was over by 11.50am. A specialist USAR (urban search and rescue) team and equipment were also used to confirm the building was “at no further risk of collapse”, a statement from the LFB said. Rosemead Preparatory school and Nursery, which charges up to £4,920 a term, teaches children between the ages of two and 11.

A Met police spokesperson said: “All children and staff have been accounted for and the school is currently in the process of contacting parents. “We await an update on assessment of any injuries. There are extensive road closures in place as emergency services respond.”

Labour MP Helen Hayes, who represents Dulwich and West Norwood, tweeted: “Very concerned to hear of the collapse of a ceiling at Rosemead School this morning. My thoughts are with the children, staff and parents. I hope no one is seriously injured.

“I’ve contacted the school to offer my support. My thanks to the emergency services who attended the scene.”

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