West News Wire: The Metropolitan police said that an accident involving a car and a primary school in Wimbledon, south London, resulted in the death of an eight-year-old girl and the injuries of a number of other kids and adults.
The incident happened on Camp Road, where the private Study preparatory school for girls in grades four through eleven, on Thursday morning.
The Metropolitan Police Department announced: “We can now confirm that sadly a child has died following an incident where a car collided with a building at a school in Wimbledon.”
“This is tragic news, and our thoughts are with the girl’s family and friends, as well as everyone affected today,” said DCS Clair Kelland, the local police commander for south-west London.
“We remain at the scene and are continuing our investigation into the full circumstances of the incident.
“We can also confirm that the driver of the vehicle, a woman aged in her 40s, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.”
A spokesperson for London ambulance service said it dispatched 15 ambulances to the scene. Sixteen patients were treated at the scene and 10 were taken to hospital.
The Wimbledon MP, Stephen Hammond, told the BBC several of those injured were in a critical condition. He said: “Extraordinarily distressing and tragic incident on the last day of term there has actually been a major incident declared. There are a number of casualties and injuries as we know. I understand, and I don’t know the numbers, but I understand a number of those are being treated as critical.”
The school sits on Wimbledon Common, a mile from the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, which is hosting the world-famous annual tennis tournament.
An earlier Met police statement said: “At this time nine people are reported injured, these include two adults and seven children. We await further updates on their conditions. The driver of the vehicle stopped at the scene. There have been no arrests.”
TV aerial footage from the scene appeared to show the vehicle was a Land Rover, which had crossed a grassed area in the school grounds where it is understood a picnic may have been being held. Footage showed what appeared to be a large mat and a table in the grassed area.
Police had earlier stated: “We received a call at 9:54 a.m. regarding claims that an automobile had struck a structure at the school. Numerous patients are receiving treatment on the spot. When we have more information, we’ll let you know.
Later tweets from the account stated: “We are not treating this incident as related to terrorism. An investigation is being conducted to learn the exact circumstances surrounding what happened.
There were also firefighters at the school. The Wimbledon school issue is being supported by emergency services, the London Fire Brigade tweeted. At the site are two fire engines and two fire rescue teams.
The London ambulance service said on Twitter: “We are currently supporting emergency services at an ongoing incident at a school in Camp Road, Wimbledon.” London air ambulance was also present, Sky News reported.
Hammond tweeted: “Very concerned to hear about the Study Preparatory School at Camp Road this morning. A major incident has been declared and I know all emergency services are on site. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone at The Study.”
He told BBC News: “It’s extremely distressing and extremely concerning. There are a number of casualties, I’m not sure how many.” He described the location as “really quite remote”, adding it was about a mile from Wimbledon village and on the way to nearby golf clubs.
Tweets from Wimbledon and Putney Commons urged the public to stay away from the area around the school.
They said: “Following an incident at the edge of the Common on Camp Road, the public are asked to avoid that area of the Commons to allow free access to the emergency services. Thank you. Emergency vehicles are likely to be using the Commons to get to the location so please be alert to what is happening and follow instructions from our staff.”