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Major probe launched into death of three-year-old girl at York College nursery
A MAJOR investigation has been launched into the tragic death of a three-year-old girl at an outdoor play area at York College .
The accident happened yesterday afternoon at the college’s day nursery when the girl - who has not been named – is believed to have become entangled in a piece of equipment while using a slide.
Joe Cocker, manager of City of York Safeguarding Children Board, said today that a multi-agency investigation into the circumstances surrounding the child’s death was underway, involving the police, City of York Safeguarding Children Board (CYSCB), Ofsted and the Health & Safety Executive.
“It is impossible to imagine what the parents must be going through, and my thoughts are with the family at what is an extremely difficult and upsetting time,” he said.
“They are currently being supported by specially-trained officers from North Yorkshire Police and it would be appreciated if their privacy is respected as they try and come to terms with their loss.
“This also is a very difficult time for the staff at the nursery and everyone at York College.”
He said the board was working closely with partners to coordinate the inquiries of the various agencies in order to understand what happened and why it happened.
“Most importantly, at this stage, there is a need to ensure that support is provided to the family, the families of children who attend the nursery and the nursery staff.
“The investigation is at a very early stage and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."
A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said an inspector travelled to the college this morning to take part in the investigation, which was currently being led by North Yorkshire Police.
College principal Dr Alison Birkinshaw said the tragedy was “absolutely devastating news for the child’s family and everyone at York College.”
She said the emergency services had been called at 2.35 pm yesterday after the three-year-old girl had suffered serious injuries in the nursery play area.
“York College staff acted immediately and called the emergency services,” she said. “The girl was taken to hospital, and we later heard that she had died.
“Our thoughts are with the family, the children, families and staff associated with the nursery and everyone affected by this incident. We are doing all we can to assist the authorities with their enquiries and we will also do our utmost to support everybody involved as best as we can. At this point, this is all the information I am able to give you. “ The nursery is closed today, with the college promising to update parents on any further developments.