Twelve children and one adult have been taken to hospital after a ceiling collapsed at a private school in Dulwich.
The ceiling of a Year 3 classroom in Rosemead Preparatory School in south London collapsed on the second floor on Monday morning.
Sixteen people were treated at the scene by ambulance crews and one adult and 12 children were taken to hospital, the London Ambulance Service said.
Around 20 firefighters and three fire engines were called to the prep school on Thurlow Park Road in Dulwich at 9.22am on Monday.
Children in Year 3 are typically seven or eight-year-olds. All other children and staff were safely evacuated from the building.
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) November 15, 2021
The chair of governors of Rosemead Preparatory School confirmed no-one received life-threatening or life-changing injuries.
Nick Crawford said: “There were no life-threatening injuries or life-changing injuries and the majority have been discharged.”
He explained how the school was “working closely with the authorities and relevant specialists to understand the cause” of the collapse.
Mr Crawford added: “This has been a worrying time for the children involved, their families and the wider school.
“We understand from initial examinations that there are no concerns regarding the rest of the building and we will work with the authorities regards any investigations to be undertaken.
“I would sincerely like to thank members of staff, the emergency services and those who sent messages of support from the wider community.”
A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We treated 16 people at the scene, and took 12 children and one adult to hospital.”
Firefighters carried out a systematic search of the building and confirmed with the school that all pupils and staff were accounted for.
Very concerned to hear of the collapse of a ceiling at Rosemead School this morning. My thoughts are with the children, staff and parents. I hope no-one is seriously injured. I’ve contacted the school to offer my support. My thanks to the emergency services who attended the scene https://t.co/tZFEKiTZIf
— Helen Hayes 💙🌹 (@helenhayes_) November 15, 2021
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) was called at 9.22am on Monday and the incident was over by 11.50am.
A specialist USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) team and equipment were also used to confirm the building was “at no further risk of collapse”, a statement from the LFB said.
Rosemead Preparatory School and Nursery, which charges up to £4,920 a term, teaches children between the ages of two and 11.
A Met Police spokesperson said: “All children and staff have been accounted for and the school is currently in the process of contacting parents.
“We await an update on assessment of any injuries. There are extensive road closures in place as emergency services respond.”
Labour’s Helen Hayes, the MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, tweeted: “Very concerned to hear of the collapse of a ceiling at Rosemead School this morning.
“My thoughts are with the children, staff and parents. I hope no-one is seriously injured.
“I’ve contacted the school to offer my support. My thanks to the emergency services who attended the scene.”
Andy Patel, 65, whose eight-year-old grandson attends Rosemead Preparatory School, said: “It’s shocking but I’ve seen the school and I’m quite content it’s under control.
“School is running as normal and our prayers and thoughts are with those kids that were hurt.”
Another parent, who did not want to be named, said he knew “immediately” his child was safe after being notified rapidly by the school via email.
He added: “We knew the school would look after our kids.”
Another who wished to remain anonymous said only that she was “worried and scared”.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said he is in “close contact” with the emergency services adding he wanted to thank them for their “swift” response to the incident.
He said: “I’m relieved to hear that all children and staff are accounted for and I wish everyone affected a full and speedy recovery.”