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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 18:08 GMT
Girl, two, died of cardiac arrest
Map showing Chigwell, Essex
A two-year-old girl died at her nursery of a cardiac arrest following compression of the neck, a post mortem examination has revealed.

Police have said Rhiya Malin may have died after a playground accident "took a tragic turn".

Emergency crews were called to Eton Manor Nursery in Chigwell, Essex, at 1115 GMT on Wednesday, and at 1141 GMT Rhiya was certified dead at hospital.

The Health and Safety Executive and Ofsted are helping the police inquiry.

Rhiya's family are being supported by relatives and a police family liaison officer.

In a statement Rhiya's parents said: "We are the parents grieving for the loss of our beloved daughter Rhiya at this very difficult time.

"As a family we are lost for words."

This appears to have been a freak playground accident
Nursery spokesman

A police spokeswoman said: "Although the investigation is still in its very early stages, initial inquiries suggest the death was a result of children's activity involving a playhouse that took a tragic turn."

The nursery, in the affluent Roding Lane area of Chigwell, has closed "as a mark of respect and to facilitate the investigation", Eton Manor and the directors of Casterbridge Care and Education Ltd said in a statement.

A nursery spokesman said: "Our thoughts are with the child's family at this terrible time.

"While we don't want to pre-judge the outcome of the investigation, this appears to have been a freak playground accident."

'Safety is paramount'

Ofsted, who last inspected the nursery in January 2006, said it was assisting with the police investigation.

Jenne Essam, who runs Small Wonders Nursery, in Chelmsford, told BBC news: "It's really hard but all you can do is assure parents that in every respect the safety of their children is paramount.

"All nurseries have to be carefully designed, with safety in mind and all have to adhere to stringent Ofsted guidelines which are geared to prevent such an incident occurring.

"All registration and Ofsted inspections are ongoing, Ofsted can turn up at any time."


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