Girl, 9, faces surgery after ceiling disaster at school in Milton Keynes

A pretty nine-year-old girl is facing major surgery after a chunk of ceiling the size of a snooker table hit her in the face during Storm Doris.

Thursday, 2nd March 2017, 11:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:09 am

The youngster was enjoying playing with 40 other pupils at her after-school club when the hall ceiling suddenly caved in.

Her injuries were initially assessed as life threatening. But the emergency air ambulance could not even get to the scene as it was grounded due to the 80mph winds.

Fellow pupils at Conniburrow’s Southwood School were evacuated from the school hall before paramedics arrived.

This week the girl was stable and is understood to have been transferred to John Radcliffe hospital at Oxford.

“Thankfully her injuries are no longer life-threatening. But they may be life-changing as she will need complex surgery to repair the serious damage to her face. It’s a terrible thing to happen to a little girl,” said a source.

One parent said: “We’re all horrified to think of what happened to that poor girl. But it could have been so much worse – minutes before the collapse there were 120 pupils in the school hall for an assembly.”

The school is said to be liaising through an interpreter with the family as they are non-English speaking.

Southwood, part of the Boulevard Primary Partnership, is a Foundation school.

This means it is run by the governors, who also officially own the building.

The Health and Safety Executive has confirmed it is investigating the ceiling collapse, and governors are understood to have met with them on Monday.

Health and safety experts are this week trying to ascertain whether the ceiling collapse was caused by effect of the freak wind on the array of solar panels on the school’s roof.

The panels, fitted more than five years ago, save substantially on fuel bills.

A source said: “Health and safety experts will very probably be looking at the windload effect on these solar panels. They will also be checked whether the panels were properly fitted, regulated and signed off.”