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16 children, 1 adult injured in fall during field trip in Winnipeg to be discharged soon

Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Service say 16 kids and 1 adult were sent to hospital after a class at St. John’s-Ravenscourt School went to Fort Gibraltar on a field trip. Edward Djan has more.

Nearly all 16 schoolchildren and one adult hospitalized after a fall Wednesday at a popular tourist attraction in Winnipeg will be discharged by the end of the day, hospital staff says.

The 17 injured people fell from a platform believed to be four-and-a-half to six metres high inside Fort Gibraltar just before 10 a.m.

Health officials say one boy was expected to remain in hospital overnight to undergo surgery for a fracture, and he is likely to be discharged “in the very near future.”

Roughly half of the remaining patients admitted to hospital were already discharged by 2 p.m., with the rest expected to follow later in the day.

Six ambulances and a major incident response vehicle transported the injured students to Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre children’s hospital. All patients were hospitalized within an hour of the incident, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service said.

Major incident response vehicle outside Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre children’s hospital May 31, 2023. (Steve Anderson/CityNews)

The injuries were all orthopedic in nature such as broken bones, pediatric emergency physician Dr. Karen Gripps indicated, and none were life-threatening.

The children were Grade 5 students aged 10 to 11 from St. John’s-Ravenscourt School, the school’s principal confirmed in a emailed statement to CityNews.

The kids’ parents and families were contacted by the school.

“The remaining students and accompanying adults returned to school where faculty, staff and counsellors are caring for them,” wrote Jim Keefe, the head of school. “We contacted their parents who are coming to collect them.

“We are doing everything we can to support our Grade 5 students and teachers and their families, and ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.”

Keefe also identified the injured adult as a “member of the SJR community.”

Structure at Fort Gibraltar in Winnipeg May 31, 2023. (Steve Anderson/CityNews)

The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service has not indicated what led to the collapse of the platform at Fort Gibraltar.

An additional 11 people were assessed on the scene but were not taken to hospital.

Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson posted about the fall on Twitter.

“Our thoughts go out to all the students, teachers, and families of St. John’s Ravenscourt affected by today’s terrible accident at Fort Gibraltar,” she wrote. “Thank you to all first responders for their immediate action.”

Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham also tweeted about it.

“Deeply concerned about the incident at Fort Gibraltar this morning involving a school group,” wrote Gillingham. “My thoughts are with those injured and their families. Grateful for the swift response from Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services.”

Gripps says the hospital was ready to receive the patients as the ER was not busy, there were empty rooms and nursing staff was available.

Fort Gibraltar is a venue in the St. Boniface neighbourhood that hosts functions as well as historical re-enactments.

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