Twelve children have been rushed to hospital with injuries after a ceiling collapsed at a school in London.
Emergency services evacuated youngsters from Rosemead Prep School in Dulwich, London, after a ceiling on the second-floor caved in around 9am this morning.
The school confirmed 16 children and one teacher was in the Year 3 classroom at the time and 13, including two adults and 11 children, were taken to hospital.
Rosemead is an independent co-educational day-prep school teaching children between the ages of two and 11 – and charges over £4,900 per term.
Firefighters carried out a systematic search of the building and confirmed with the school that all pupils and staff were accounted for.
Nick Crawford, Chair of Governors of Rosemead School, said: “There were no life-threatening or life-changing injuries and the majority have been discharged.
“We are working closely with the authorities and relevant specialists to understand the cause of the incident, therefore it is inappropriate that we speculate or comment further at this stage.
“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.
“We would like to sincerely thank members of staff, the emergency services and those who sent messages of support from the wider community.”
A local resident, who gave his name as Jim, said: “I heard fire engines go by, but had no idea it was anything to do with the kids.
“I really feel for them. That shouldn’t happen.”
A woman, who lives near the school and who is friends with a mum who has an eight-year-old at Rosemead, said: “All I know is that there were minor injuries.
“I can’t say any more. I know my friend’s son is fine.”
The school said it is “working closely with the authorities” to understand what caused the ceiling to collapse in one of its Year 3 classrooms.
Labour’s Helen Hayes, 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.”
The fire brigade confirmed they dispatched 20 firefighters in three fire engines to the scene at around 9.20am this morning.
A statement read: “Three fire engines and around 20 firefighters were called to a ceiling collapse at a school in Thurlow Park Road in Dulwich.
“A ceiling had collapsed on the second floor.
A number of children and adults were treated on the scene for minor injuries and a number of children were taken to hospital by London Ambulance crews.
“All other children and adults were safely evacuated from the building, Fire crews from West Norwood and Brixton fire stations are at the scene.”
In another statement, the London Ambulance service said they dispatched a massive number of responders to the scene.
“We sent a number of resources to the scene, including ambulance crews, medics in cars, advanced paramedics, incident response officers, emergency planning resilience officers, our hazardous area response team, and a command support vehicle”, their statement reads.
“We treated 16 people at the scene, and took 12 children and one adult to hospital.”
A Met Police spokesman said: “Officers are in attendance at the school alongside London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service.
“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.”
The statement from Rosemead School said: “This morning in one of our Year 3 classrooms, a ceiling collapsed resulting in the attendance of the emergency services.
“Some injuries were sustained and some of those involved have been taken to hospital, and we are working with our students and families to support them.
“We are working closely with the authorities to understand the cause of the incident and we will provide more information as soon as we can.
“Parents and families can be reassured that the school day is continuing as usual today for the rest of the school.”