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Boy was 'crushed' by tree branch

24 June 08 11:31 GMT

A boy on a school trip was crushed by a tree branch while sheltering from the rain, an inquest heard today.

Daniel Mullinger, 11, from Stanway, near Colchester, Essex, died while he was taking part in an orienteering exercise at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk.

Three other children were also injured in the incident at the National Trust property, the inquest in Norwich heard.

They were among 60 pupils from Heathlands Primary School, West Bergholt on the trip in June last year.

Gemma Williams, who investigated the incident for Norfolk County Council, said the tree was classified as "medium risk", which meant the National Trust had to examine it every two years.

Struck on head

Ms Williams said it was last examined six months before Daniel was killed and "no defects" were found.

The jury at the inquest were told the incident happened when the children stopped under the tree.

The 75ft (23m) branch fell from 30ft (9m) after they were told to "run" by their teacher.

Daniel died when he was struck on the head, while three other pupils were injured.

One of the youngsters, who suffered pelvic and internal injuries, was at the inquest in a wheelchair.

The inquest is expected to last three days.

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