Scotland Yard says a woman in her 40s has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after the incident at The Study Preparatory School in Camp Road, south-west London.
Here’s everything we know so far:
Fifteen injured, and eight-year-old girl dead
- The girl killed in the crash was just eight years old, police confirmed on Thursday afternoon
- Met Police Detective Chief Superintendent Clair Kelland teared up as she confirmed the girl’s age, saying: “Very sadly one of the children, an eight-year-old girl, died at the scene.”
- Pupils had been having an outdoor picnic to celebrate the last day of the summer term, when the tragedy happened
- Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond said: “I think it was a usual end-of-year celebration party. Just in the garden. As I understand it, they were inside the school but outside the classroom.”
- A neighbour to the school told the Standard: “I was told there was an end of term party when the car careered into the school. Everyone is extremely shaken up.” Another said: “I heard a bang and scaping metal, it was like a bomb going off.”
- Police, firefighters and paramedics, including London’s Air Ambulance (LAS), were scrambled to the scene at 9.54am on Thursday
- The car is thought to have ploughed through fencing before crashing into pupils and staff, and coming to a rest against a building
- Emergency services initially said seven children and two adults had been injured in the incident, but London Ambulance Service confirmed shortly after 3pm a total of 16 people were injured, including the schoolgirl who tragically died
- Ten people were taken to hospital after the incident, LAS chief paramedic John Martin said
- Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond, whose daughter previously attended the school, said some of those hurt in the crash are “critically injured”. He said: “There are a number of people who are critically injured as I understand it and given the scale of the response from emergency services… this is a very serious incident.”
- The driver stopped at the scene
- Police are not treating the incident as terror-related.
A woman has been arrested
- Scotland Yard said in a statement: “The driver of the vehicle, a woman aged in her 40s, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.”
- She remained in custody on Thursday afternoon
A huge emergency response remains at the scene
- A large police cordon is in place around the school, while an air ambulance and road ambulances remain at the scene
- Aerial images showed the car up against the wall of the building, and firefighters and paramedics standing near a gap in the fencing at the entrance to the site
- Photos also showed discarded cups and food from the tea party children had been enjoying strewn across the ground
- The London Ambulance Service (LAS) has declared a major incident as a result of the crash.
Chief Paramedic Dr John Martin told reporters: “At 9.54 we received a 999 call to a collision on Camp Road in Wimbledon.
“We dispatched multiple resources including specialist critical care paramedics, London’s air ambulance and 15 ambulances.
“We declared a major incident. We treated 16 patients on scene. Sadly, as we’ve heard, one eight-year-old girl died.”
A community rocked
- The school, which costs £5,565 per term, is for girls aged four to 11 and sits on Wimbledon Common, just a mile away from the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club as it hosts the world-famous tennis tournament.
- Wimbledon resident Julie Atwood, whose daughter used to attend the girls’ school, said: “Wimbledon is like a little village. For this to happen in Wimbledon is unheard of. It’s terrible.”
- Flowers were placed near the school on Thursday evening
Downing Street said the Prime Minister’s “deepest condolences are with the family of the girl who has tragically lost her life”. The spokesman said: “His thoughts are with all those injured and involved in the horrific collision in Wimbledon this morning.
“This will have been a terrifying experience for all of the children, staff and parents.”
- MP Mr Hammond described the school as “very well-known and family-based”. “It’s a local prep school having girls between the ages of four and eight,” he said, describing the tragedy as an “extraordinarily distressing and tragic incident on the last day of term”.
- He added that where the school is located “generally will be regarded as an area where you wouldn’t see very much speeding”.
- Wimbledon tennis tournament shared its “heartfelt condolences” on Twitter on Thursday afternoon, writing: “On behalf of everyone at Wimbledon, we wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to all those affected by the tragic events at Wimbledon Study Preparatory School. Our thoughts are with them, their families, the school and the wider community at this deeply distressing time.”
Speaking at an Assembly meeting, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “All of us I’m sure will have [those affected] in our thoughts and prayers, and not just any family that may be bereaved, but [the] families of those who are injured.
“My team has been reaching out to all the various emergency services, and the local community, whilst I’ve been here, to make sure they get all the support they need.”
- Home Secretary Suella Braverman said she was “saddened to hear about the tragic incident at the school in Wimbledon this morning”, adding in a tweet: “My thoughts are with everyone affected. I would like to thank emergency responders at the scene. It is important they are now able to carry out their investigation.”
- Responding to a question at the scene, John Tucker, chair of the school’s governors, said: “You’ll perhaps appreciate that the school community is profoundly affected by this tragedy and at the moment we’re really not in a position to make any further comment about it.
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