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UK Student Receives Electrical Shock at School

RICHMOND, UNITED KINGDOM – A teenager is recovering after getting an electric shock in his school’s changing rooms.

Harvey Birtles, 13, returned to lessons with a bandaged hand yesterday after being hurt by a school light switch on Tuesday.

The Richmond Park Academy pupil said he could not believe what had happened and his mother spoke of her concerns for pupils’ safety at the school.

Harvey said: “Before PE I quickly went to the toilet and washed my hands. I dried them and then went to turn off the light switch.

“The whole thing blew up.”

The teenager described the feeling as a “direct beam of fire which really burned”.

Harvey, who was taken to Kingston Hospital for treatment, said he temporarily lost the ability to bend his right hand.

A fault with the wiring at the newly-opened academywas thought to be the cause.

Despite repeated calls to headteacher Lesley Kirby, the Richmond and Twickenham Times has received no response.

However, Mike Barnett, spokesman for Acadmies Enterprise Trust – which has responsibility for the school in Park Road – said it was “deeply regrettable” a child had been hurt.

He said: “Clearly there was a fault with the electric wiring.

“The defective wiring was immediately made safe, but we are extremely concerned that a child should have received any form of injury – their safety and welfare are our number one priorities.

“We are relieved and pleased to hear he is back at school and will be keeping a very watchful eye on him.”

Harvey’s shocked mum Sally said it was lucky her son did not have any underlying health conditions as the incident could have been fatal.

Mrs Birtles, of Railway Side, Barnes, added: “It was such a shock – I couldn’t believe it. This should not have happened. It is just not good enough for a school, there should be safety no matter what.

“For him to just touch a light switch and get electrocuted is just unbelievable. It’s unforgivable.”

Mrs Birtles said she would question the school regarding health and safety and would be speaking to a lawyer.

Story via Richmond and Twikenham Times

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