Norfolk

Thorpe Marshes Reserve drowning: Jury concludes 'accidental death'

Bonheur Musungay, 14, and Stella Kambi, 17, Image copyright Family photos
Image caption Bonheur Musungay, 14, and Stella Kambi, 17, died at Thorpe Marshes near Norwich

Jurors at an inquest into the drownings of two teenagers at a nature reserve have concluded their deaths were "accidental".

Stella Kambi, 17, and Bonheur Musungay, 14, died at Thorpe Marshes nature reserve near Norwich on 12 August 2015.

The inquest in Norwich heard how warning signs forbidding swimming in the former quarry had disappeared.

Health and safety rules had not been breached and the incident was a "tragic error of judgement", it was heard.

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The two-day hearing heard how Bonheur had got into difficulty in the water, and Stella had gone in to help him. A number of others tried to save them.

The inquest heard that three newly-installed signs, which warned against swimming in the water, had been removed by vandals two weeks before the teenagers died.

Kevin Hart, from Norfolk Wildlife Trust, which manages the site, told the jury that vandalism of warning signs was a "regular problem".

He said since the tragedy, the trust had revised its procedures and had put up a security fence to stop public access.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said there had been no breaches of health and safety laws by the trust and that it "did not fail in its duty of care".

Concluding, Norfolk Coroner Jacqueline Lake said the Norfolk Wildlife Trust had been aware of the dangers there and had undertaken steps to reduce them.

She said she was "satisfied" that the actions that have been taken by the trust would "prevent future deaths".

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