UK & World News

  • 2 April 2014, 5:19

Girl Killed By Falling Wall At School Is Named

Tributes have been left for a 12-year-old girl, named locally as Keane Wallis-Bennett, who died when an internal wall collapsed on her at school.

Emergency services were called toLiberton High School in Edinburghshortly before 10am.

Ambulance staff treated Keane, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her family have been informed.

Friends have been leaving messages of remembrance on Facebook. One reads: "Sleep tight beautiful," while another says: "No child should go to school and not return home. RIP KeaneGrace Wallis-Bennett. Horrible news."

Health and safety breaches at the school are now under investigation amid reports that students had raised safetyconcerns about the wall that collapsed in thePE block.

A spokesperson for Edinburgh City Council said: "Police investigations are ongoing, however we understand that the wall that collapsed was a free standing modesty wall in a changing room.

"A full survey of all our schools, including Liberton High School, was carried out in 2012/13 and no concerns with this wall were identified. However, as a precaution, specialist council building services staff will be surveying all similar walls in schools where we know that they exist.

The spokesperson added that a full survey would be carried out at LibertonHigh School in the coming days.

Earlier on Tuesday Superintendent Matt Richards, of Police Scotland, said: "Inquiries now continue with partners from the Health and Safety Executive, and also alongside the council in order to ensure we get to the bottom of what has happened."

It is also not the first time the school has faced questions over its safety record.

Edinburgh City Council has previously been prosecuted for "serious safety failings" at the same school.

The authority was fined 8,000 in February after a girl at the school was seriously injured when she fell more than 16 feet as teachers tried to free her from a broken lift.

Parents at the school said they were alerted to the latest accident by text message and were asked to collect their children.

Shailesh Shrestha, who has a son at the school, said: "I was in a meeting when I heard what had happened and have come in to collect my son.

"It is concerning that this has happened. You just don't expect this kind of thing to happen inside a school."

Councillor Nick Cook, who represents the Liberton/Gilmerton ward, said: "Our thoughts are first and foremost with the family.

"But serious questions need to be asked as to how this incident managed to come about."

Andy Gray, head of schools at Edinburgh City Council said: "It is obviously a very distressing time for all the pupils, staff, and the community of Liberton High School.

"We are offering welfare support to anyone who needs it."

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said on Twitter: "Shocked and deeply saddened at news from Liberton High. Visited school in December - thoughts today with family, pupils and staff."

Edinburgh City Council has said the school will remain closed for the rest of the week, with a two-week Easter holiday break starting Friday.

It will still offer emotional support for students studying for exams.

In the accident in December 2011, a student, then aged 15, needed hospital treatment for three fractured vertebrae, bruising over her lower back, and a sprained wrist.

The authority was fined at Edinburgh Sheriff Court after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, according to the Health and Safety Executive.

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