Hereford & Worcester

Storm Imogen: Children badly hurt in garden wall fall

Collapsed wall Image copyright Hereford and Worcestershire Fire and Rescue
Image caption The children were pulled from the rubble by fire crews

Two young children were badly injured when Storm Imogen brought down a garden wall as they walked to school, the fire service said.

A boy, four, and a girl, seven, both sustained "serious" leg injuries, plus back and facial injuries.

The youngsters were being walked to school by their mother in Bretforton, near Evesham in Worcestershire, when the wall collapsed.

The district council said a complaint was made about the wall last month.

It is thought the children were walking ahead of their mother when they were struck by a large section of the wall, estimated to be 10ft (3m) high.

They were pulled from the rubble and flown to hospital by air ambulance.

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Jack Hegarty, managing director of Wychavon District Council, said: "I can confirm a complaint was made to us about the condition of the wall on 22 January, 2016.

"An officer from Building Control visited the site three days later and was advised on 26 January to carry out work to repair the wall, as well as a safety inspection to ensure it posed no immediate risk to the public.

"The owner informed us on 1 February a specialist in dry stone walling had inspected the wall and confirmed there was no immediate danger to the public and repair work would be carried out as soon as the weather improved.

"We take this matter seriously and will review the case to ensure there was nothing more we could have done."

Emergency services were called to the village just before 09:00 GMT.

Station commander Steve Fox, of Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, said: "I would suggest high winds we've experienced would have contributed to the wall collapse."

The children were initially treated at the scene while crews carried out further searches of the rubble, but no further casualties were found.

While the wall is privately owned, Worcestershire County Council - which is carrying out structural reviews of other walls nearby - said "concerns remain" over its safety .

The rescue operation temporarily closed the B4035.

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