Girl dies after freak accident at party

Last updated 13:22 17/12/2012

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Staff and students at a central Queensland school will be offered counselling after a student was fatally injured in a freak incident during a party at Anzac Pool in Bundaberg.

Nine-year-old Karrisa McDonald was enjoying pizza with a group of friends on Thursday when a strong gust of wind picked up one of the pool's umbrellas and blew it into her.

Police say the girl was hit by an umbrella that blew over at the pool about 11am (local time).

The Year 4 pupil from Bundaberg East State School was taken to Bundaberg Base Hospital and then flown to the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane where she died from her injuries early on Friday morning.

Workplace Health and Safety officers are investigating the incident while police are preparing a report for the coroner.

Education Queensland North Coast regional director Greg Peach said the school community was deeply saddened by the freak accident.

"This is an absolute tragedy and the school's thoughts and prayers are with the family at this terrible time," he said.

"We also extend our deepest sympathies to friends, staff at the school and all students who knew the Year 4 student."

Bundaberg mayor Mal Forman said staff had faced a tough time at the pool due to the number of people attending the function.

"From my understanding, the pool had been at capacity on Thursday with around 360 bathers in the water," Forman told ABC Radio.

"I believe the young girl who was unfortunately killed was sharing a pizza on the lawns with some schoolmates."

- Brisbane Times and AAP

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