Council Fined £280,000 After Tree Fell Onto Children

The latest sad story from the HSE;

A council has been fined £280,000 after the death of a six-year-old girl who was hit by a falling tree in her school playground.

Ella Henderson was playing with friends at Gosforth Park First School in Newcastle upon Tyne on 25 September 2020 when a decaying willow tree collapsed. The Year 2 pupil was freed from under the tree by emergency services and taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, where she died the following morning. Her parents Neil and Vikki Henderson today paid tribute to their daughter and said every part of their family’s lives had changed since losing Ella.

Several other children were hit by the falling tree but managed to escape, some with superficial injuries. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the tree had decayed and was in a poor condition. Newcastle City Council had failed to identify the extent of the decay or to manage the risk posed by the tree.

Newcastle City Council pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £280,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,020 by South Tyneside Magistrates on 10 January 2023.

HSE Inspector Ashfaq Ali said: “This terrible incident led to the avoidable death of a young girl. HSE hopes others will learn from what happened to Ella. Our thoughts remain with Ella’s family.”


About alastair walker 10905 Articles
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