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Friday, 30 November, 2001, 17:08 GMT
Bunmi's parents to sue over school trip
Bunmi's mother, Salimata Shagaya, is comforted ahead of the funeral service
Bunmi's mother (centre) was distraught at the news
The parents of the British schoolgirl Bunmi Shagaya, who died during a school trip to Normandy, plan to sue Lambeth Council in London for negligence.

The 11 year old drowned in a lake near Dieppe while on a supervised trip with her school, Hill Mead Primary in Brixton, south London.

Proceedings are currently underway in France, after a public prosecutor ruled there was enough evidence for a magistrate to consider criminal charges over the child's death.

Bunmi Shagaya
Bunmi drowned during a school trip
Teachers who were with Bunmi on the day she died have already been questioned in France.

Now Bunmi's parents have instructed their solicitor, Terrence Donovan, to draw up a civil case for damages.

"The aim of the family is to do all they can to find out what went wrong and how it was that this tragic accident was allowed to happen," Mr Donovan said.

"The family will be seeking compensation and if a satisfactory explanation and satisfactory compensation cannot be provided by Lambeth, proceedings will be issued against Lambeth in the English courts," he said.

They would wait until French proceedings were completed before making a final decision as to how to proceed, Mr Donovan added.

Council statement

Lambeth Council issued a statement in response to the move by Bunmi's parents.

"The council has had profound sympathy for the parents of Bunmi Shagaya throughout this tragedy," it read.

"We feel it would be inappropriate to make any substantive comment in advance of the judicial process currently underway in France."

Proceedings in France could take up to 18 months, a spokesman for the council said.

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