Inquest hears howfalling tree killed boy
PUBLISHED: 18:19 24 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:00 13 July 2010
The tree that killed an 11-year-old boy on a Norfolk school trip had been given the all clear by safety inspectors six months before the tragedy, an inquest heard today.
The tree that killed an 11-year-old boy on a Norfolk school trip had been given the all-clear by safety inspectors six months before the tragedy, an inquest heard this week.
Daniel Mullinger, from Colchester, Essex, was crushed by a branch as he sheltered from the rain on a school trip.
The youngster was taking part in an orienteering exercise at Felbrigg Hall, near Cromer, on June 26, the Norwich inquest heard.
Gemma Williams, who investigated the incident for Norfolk County Council, said the tree was classified as being of "medium risk", meaning the National Trust was required to have it examined every two years.
She said it was last inspected six months before the tragedy, with "no defects" found.
Daniel was one of 59 pupils from a primary school in West Bergholt, Essex, who were on a trip to Aylmerton Field Study Centre, close to Felbrigg Hall.
The inquest heard that they had been split into groups of about 10 to take part in an orienteering exercise through woodland and countryside.
The jury was told the tragedy happened after Daniel's group gathered under a tree.
Ms Williams said: "The children stopped to regroup and perhaps shelter from the rain." She said the 75ft branch fell from 30ft after they were told to "run" by their teacher.
Daniel died after being struck on the head, while three other pupils were injured, the inquest heard.
One of the youngsters, who suffered pelvic and internal injuries, attended the inquest in a wheelchair.
The hearing, which started on Tuesday, was expected to continue into later in the week.
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