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School trip accidents which left two Redbridge children seriously hurt still not investigated one year on

PUBLISHED: 10:21 11 July 2013 | UPDATED: 10:40 11 July 2013

Fairlop Waters Outdoor Activity Centre

Fairlop Waters Outdoor Activity Centre

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The families of two boys injured in horrific school trip accidents have no answers a year on from when authorities promised investigations.

Negotiations

Redbridge Council and the HSE have not yet announced who will carry out the investigations after months of discussions.

Both Redbridge Cycling Centre and Fairlop Waters Activity Centre are run by Vision Redbridge, which operates the council’s leisure services.

Although separate from the local authority, councillors sit on the board of the non-profit organisation.

With Vision being a separate company, the council would be charged with investigating any incidents at its sites, but the HSE would take charge if there was a conflict of interest with profit or other concerns.

The council and the HSE are understood to be reaching the end of negotiations and investigations into both accidents are expected to begin this month.

There has been no explanation for how a construction lorry collided with a child at the Redbridge Cycling Centre, or why a staff patrol boat at Fairlop Waters Activity Centre was so close to children doing raft building that a boy’s leg was caught in the propeller.

Full investigations were promised after both incidents last summer, but discussions between Redbridge Council and the government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over who should carry them out means nothing has been started.

In the first accident, an 11-year-old boy was with classmates from Al Noor Primary School, in Goodmayes, at the Redbridge Cycling Centre, Forest Road, Hainault, when he and a construction vehicle collided

The lorry was understood to be on the cycle track the schoolchildren were using at the time of the accident on June 27 last year. A London Ambulance Service spokesman said the boy was treated for injuries to his face, arms and legs and taken to hospital in the air ambulance.

Less than a month later, another 11-year-old, from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Chingford, was enjoying a trip at Fairlop Waters Activity Centre, Forest Road, Barkingside, when his leg was mangled by a patrol boat propeller on July 17.

A witness, who did not want to be named, said: “The blade cut into his calf, it was open about five inches all the way to the bone. His colour went to grey and they gave him oxygen when he was in the water.”

Firefighters happened to be across the lake on a training exercise and rushed to the boy’s aid in a boat.

Dagenham station manager Paul McClenaghan said the crews saved the boy’s life. He added: “He had been in the water for nearly half an hour before we were alerted, so if we hadn’t been training nearby, this could have ended tragically.”

The boy is understood to have undergone two operations.

The council and HSE were asked to comment but did not respond to our questions.


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