Girl, 8, dies in branch fall

Last updated 18:29 21/02/2014
Sydney school accident
JASON WEBSTER/Fairfax
TRAGIC ACCIDENT: A large branch fell from a tree in a Sydney primary school, killing an eight-year-old girl.

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A girl, 8, has died and three people were injured, after a large branch of a towering gum tree fell on to a playground at a primary school in Sydney's north-west about 3.15pm (NZT) on Friday.

The eight-year girl was in cardiac arrest trapped under a large Gumtree branch when paramedics arrived, the ABC reported.

A 55-year-old male teacher, a five-year-old kindergarten student and her seven-year-old brother were also injured.

Emergency services were called to Pitt Town Public School in Buckingham Street, Pitt Town, to reports that a tree had fallen on the school grounds. It later transpired that a branch had fallen and not the whole tree.

As children wept in front of the small school in the semi-rural village, police had cordoned off the fallen branch and forensic investigators arrived.

The injured children were taken to The Children's Hospital at Westmead, while the man was taken to Westmead Hospital.

Ambulance Service acting zone manager Murray Traynor said the incident was tragic.

"One of them was intubated and ventilated, the other was intubated and ventilated in the helicopter and the other two had pain relief, fluids and ongoing management," Mr Traynor said.

A NSW Ambulance spokeswoman said girl, originally thought to be aged nine, was in a critical condition when she was taken to hospital. 

Police later confirmed that the girl had died.

A boy, 7, has relatively minor injuries, police said.

His sister, 5, in kindergarten, has more serious injuries, police said.

A man in his 50s was being treated for head injuries and was believed to be in a critical condition.

A number of students are believed to have seen the branch fall.

A NSW Police spokesman could not confirm if the accident occurred during the school's lunch period although parents collecting their children from the school said the branch did fall during the lunch break.

- Sydney Morning Herald and AAP

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