Tragic 11-year-old schoolboy named

AN 11-year-old schoolboy killed when a tree branch fell on him has been named today.Daniel Mullinger, of Stanway, was a pupil at Heathlands Primary school in West Bergholt.Three other pupils were also injured during the incident which occurred at Felbrigg Hall estate, near Cromer.

A SCHOOLBOY killed after a tree branch fell on him during a school trip has today been named.

Police have identified the boy as 11-year-old Daniel Mullinger, of Stanway, who went to Heathlands Primary School in West Bergholt.

An 11-year-old boy who suffered pelvic and internal injuries is now in a critical but stable condition.

A ten-year-old boy with a wrist injury and an 11-year-old girl with leg and arm injuries are said to be “comfortable.”

All three were from the West Bergholt area.

The children, all in year six, were on a visit to Norfolk yesterday when a large tree branch fell on them on the Felbrigg Hall estate, near Cromer.

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In a moving tribute to Daniel, headteacher John Watts said: “He was a lovely little boy. He was very kind and comes from a lovely family. He took part in all school activities and he had tremendous capabilities.

“I know it is a cliché to say at time like this but he really was a fantastic little boy. We shall miss him terribly.”

The children were building a den just before 3pm as part of a course at the National Trust property when the huge branch fell down.

A teacher with the children heard the branch snapping off and desperately tried to get all of the youngsters out of harms' way.

Tree surgeons and firefighters were called to free the trapped casualties from the weight of the branch.

Mr Watts added: “The teachers did everything they could in the circumstances, along with the ambulance staff - I have been assured of that. They gave the necessary medical first aid.”

The two most seriously injured youngsters were airlifted to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for treatment.

The two other pupils were taken to the Norfolk and Norwich by land ambulance.

Mr Watts said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those concerned.

“We are devastated by this terrible accident. It is a terrible shock and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who died and were injured.”

Mr Watts said 59 children, all aged 10 or 11, were on the trip which began on Monday and was due to finish on Friday.

However, the classmates of Daniel returned home last night.

The children were staying at the Aylmerton Field Study Centre, near to the estate.

Mr Watts said the centre had been the subject of a health and safety check by Essex County Council when the school started using it in 2001.

A police spokesman said officers were trying to establish whether the accident was weather-related.

“That's something we will be trying to establish,” he explained. “It has been windy overnight and today in the country but we have not had widespread reports of trees falling.”

Chief Inspector Steve Jones, in charge of the police investigation, said: “Early indications are that a large branch snapped and it just happened to be where they where. “It is a tragic accident and our condolences are with the family, friends and relatives of those involved.”