Student hospitalised after school rail collapses

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The mother of a deCarteret College sixth-form student is alleging that poor infrastructure at the school caused severe injury to her daughter on Wednesday.

Reports reaching the Jamaica Observer are that the student, Nineisha Lloyd, was leaning on a wooden rail when it collapsed and she fell, hitting her head and back on a staircase.

It is being claimed that students had told school administrators that the area was not structurally safe.

“The infrastructure is not safe, because my daughter told me that they (students) had discussions [with administrators] about it and nothing was done,” the mother, Heather Lloyd, told the Observer on Thursday by telephone.

When contacted, Principal Prim Lewis said the school is investigating the incident and has been in contact with Lloyd, while committing to assist with the student’s medical expenses.

“The building that the students use for the sixth-form area has been in need of some repairs, but yesterday there were no classes going on at that time of the day on that block, it was just a club expo that was in progress… I have not been able to ascertain how Nineisha fell because we are still in the process of collecting information. Basically investigating what happened. The most important thing at the time was to get the student to the doctor,” said Lewis.

“… Once the student pays their school fees a portion of it is taken out for insurance. Anything that happens to our students we stand by [them]. We do not just stand by them for education. We stand by our students through thick and thin,” added Lewis.

Lloyd said her daughter is badly injured and is to undergo medical examinations.

“The incident happened about 10:40 am. She sent me some pictures at about 10:20 am showing her [school] club as I think they had an expo at the school. I was just about looking at them when I got the call from the school to say that I am to meet them at the hospital because she was leaning on a railing and she fell,” said Lloyd.

“… She said they just finished what they were doing and went up for class because they have classes in that section and she was waiting for the teacher to come so she stood there, and as soon as she leaned on it, it just gave way and she fell right over,” added Lloyd.

The mother said Nineisha hit her head and back when she fell.

Lloyd said Lewis called to check on Nineisha’s condition.

“She called yesterday (Wednesday) and she called back this morning (Thursday). The vice-principal called as well and the PTA executive to find out how [Nineisha] is doing. They haven’t said anything else to me. I told them she has to do a CT scan [and] an ultrasound done, so I guess they just want to be kept abreast,” said Lloyd.

“She still cannot sit up; she has to be laying on her back,” added Lloyd, who is adamant that the school needs to assess its infrastructure.

“There is a light that is hanging in the auditorium by just two strings, and the auditorium steps are also infected with termites, and the [students] have brought it to the [administrators’] attention and nothing was done,” she said.

However, Lewis explained that the light was broken last week by students and that termite treatment was being done.

“… Yes, there is termite in the building as there is termite in all other buildings in Manchester and we have been in consultation with the ministry and we have been doing termite treatment. In the auditorium students were playing badminton as well as basketball and a student hit a ball and broke a light… The electrician was called to fix the light… it is not at risk to fall,” Lewis said.

President of the school’s parent-teachers’ association Debbie Lewis-Richards said some repairs are being organised by the association.

“We are working with the administration. I have an engineer on my team now and we are going on campus on Saturday. We did some assessment already because there were leaks during heavy rains… We are going to be doing an extensive go through because we don’t want to have any incident like this [happening] again,” said Lewis-Richards.

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