Wall That Killed Keane 'Inherently' Unstable

24 August 2017, 13:27

Keane Walis-Bennet

A school gym wall that collapsed and killed a 12-year-old girl was "inherently unstable", a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) has found.

Keane Wallis-Bennett died when a modesty wall in the PE block at Liberton High School in Edinburgh collapsed on her on April 1 2014.

An FAI was held at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to examine the full circumstances surrounding the incident.

The inquiry heard two other pupils had been ''mucking about'' in a school changing-room when the structure collapsed.

Sheriff Principal Mhairi Stephen concluded the immediate cause of the collapse was "the application of a lateral force to the wall sufficient to push it beyond its tipping point".

In her findings, she said: "It is probable that the activities of other pupils who were braced between the freestanding 'privacy wall' and the shower wall was sufficient to cause the wall to move beyond the tipping point.

"The lateral force generated by the innocent high-spirited behaviour of those pupils could push it past its tipping point due to the wall being inherently unstable and liable to sudden collapse.

"The unstable nature of the wall was the real cause of the accident."

She concluded: "There are no reasonable precautions I can propose whereby Keane's death or the accident might have been avoided."

The sheriff principal added that the incident had been "horrific" and praised the "courage and maturity" of the pupils who gave evidence.

She said: "The actions of pupils over many years many have unwittingly contributed to this inherently unstable painted monolith cracking.

"No pupil should shoulder any responsibility or burden whatsoever in the wake of what happened."

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