Firemen free stuck pupil at playground
A 7-year-old Motueka South School pupil sparked an emergency callout, after he slipped off an adventure playground and became stuck between the structure and a tree trunk.
Principal Michael Harrison said that a fire truck was dispatched to the Motueka primary school after a year three boy became lodged between a tree and a wooden playground, and was unable to free himself.
Harrison said the boy slipped into a gap measuring just 12cm by 23cm and become stuck around his upper body and head.
He said fire officers and the school caretaker took about 20 minutes to free the child by removing two wooden floorboards from the more than 20-year-old adventure playground.
"Naturally, he was shaken, but there were no injuries," Mr Harrison said.
He said that the boy's mother arrived at the scene quickly and took the boy home for the afternoon off school.
Mr Harrison commended his staff for supporting the boy and keeping him calm, while waiting for emergency services.
He said Motueka South School had a policy of checking playground equipment every two weeks. The wooden adventure playground in question had been just earmarked for removal in term 4, because it was "a pretty old structure", he said.
Harrison said the playground has since been cordoned off and closed.
He said there were no specific health and safety issues identified, but his pupils would benefit from more modern facilities.
The school had raised $20,000 toward building a new playground, with help from the Parent Teacher Association and the Canterbury Community Trust. Harrison said he and staff would consult with pupils about what they wanted in a new playground, and then the board would make a decision, hopefully next term.
- © Fairfax NZ News