April 24, 2024

An eight-year-old girl has died after a Land Rover crashed into a primary school in southwest London on the last day of term.

A total of 16 people were treated at the scene and 10 were taken to hospital, chief paramedic John Martin from the London Ambulance Service said at the scene in an update this afternoon.

Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond said: “What a sad incident – it is tragically on the last day of term, for this young girl to have lost her life.”

The Study Preparatory School said it was “profoundly shocked by the tragic accident” and “devastated that it has claimed the life of one of our young pupils as well as injuring several others”.

Up to 20 ambulances, an air ambulance and firefighters were sent to The Study Preparatory School on Camp Road in Wimbledon.

A woman aged in her 40s has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remains in custody.

The driver stopped at the scene after the crash, police said.

Officers said the emergency services were called at 9.54am and at least seven children were among those injured.

Detective Chief Superintendent Clair Kelland, of the Metropolitan Police, teared up and her voice broke during a news conference as she described the crash.

“Very sadly one of the children, an eight-year-old girl, died at the scene,” she said.

“Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly difficult time.”

‘Absolutely shell shocked’

The Sky News team on the scene understand from officers in the area that the crash was caused by an out-of-control vehicle.

A child was also seen earlier being carried away by her parents, with a cut to her leg.

She was not seriously hurt but was described as being “absolutely shell-shocked”.

Sky News understands a prize-giving event may have been taking place at the time, with images showing a table apparently covered with a picnic blanket laid out in the schoolyard.

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed the incident is not terror-related, adding that “an investigation is under way to understand the full circumstances of what has taken place”.

The independent school is for girls aged four to 11 and sits on Wimbledon Common, just a mile away from the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club as it hosts the world-famous tennis tournament.

It is understood that the car hit the area of the school which housed the younger girls, aged between four and eight.

Scenes in Wimbledon, south London, where a car has collided with a primary school building. Officers, firefighters and paramedics, including London’s Air Ambulance, responded to the incident at around 9.54am on Thursday. Picture date: Thursday July 6, 2023.

Police , firefighters and paramedics, including London’s Air Ambulance, responded to the incident at around 9.54am on Thursday.

In a statement, the school said: “We are profoundly shocked by the tragic accident this morning at Wilberforce House and devastated that it has claimed the life of one of our young pupils as well as injuring several others.

“Our thoughts are with the bereaved family and with the families of those injured at this terrible time.

“It is still far too soon to fully understand what happened, but we are well aware of the significant impact this dreadful event will have on our pupils and their families.

“Their welfare remains our top priority and we will be doing everything we can to support them, especially those who suffered injuries.

“Now that a police investigation is underway we will not be making any further public statement for the time being and would ask that the privacy of our school community is respected at this deeply upsetting time.”

Local MP, Mr Hammond, described it as a “tragic end to the term” for the girls and said he was “led to believe some of the injures were serious and critical”.

He added that his “thoughts and prayers go out to everyone at The Study”.

Both Home Secretary Suella Braverman and London Mayor Sadiq Khan also said their thoughts were with those affected.

The local MP said the collision occurred at The Study Preparatory School on Camp Road.

Merton Police tweeted that “a car collided with a building at the school” in the first sign of the news this morning, adding: “Several people are being treated at the scene.”

‘Incredibly tragic situation’

Emergency services were alerted to the incident just before 10am on Thursday.

Sky News’ Jacquie Beltrao, who is at the scene, said: “This is a very small road just off Wimbledon Common. It’s really narrow and very quiet. I can see about eight ambulances.

“A police officer said that he believes the incident was caused by an-out-of control car.

“The roads all around the common have been closed off and there are lots of what look like parents standing around me.

“It is difficult to know exactly what has happened, but we do know there are casualties and they are being taken to hospital.”

Scenes in Wimbledon, south London, where a car has collided with a primary school building. Officers, firefighters and paramedics, including London…s Air Ambulance, responded to the incident at around 9.54am on Thursday.

Police said the driver of the vehicle stopped at the scene.

Former Metropolitan Police chief superintendent Dal Babu told Sky News: “It is an incredibly tragic situation.

“In terms of policing, at this stage the traffic police will be there looking at things like skid marks, they’ll be checking the vehicle to see if there are any faults with the vehicle.

“They’ll be able to work out how fast the car was travelling and be checking CCTV and any door cameras from local residences.”

credit: Skynews

 

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