Tributes paid to boy who died after being trapped under locker at school
Tributes have been paid to a nine-year-old boy who died after he became trapped under a locker at a school.
Leo Latifi had been with family members at an after-school swimming club at Great Baddow High School in Chelmsford.
Essex Police said officers were called to reports that a boy fell from a locker and became trapped underneath it at around 6.15pm on Thursday.
Leo, who was not a pupil at the high school, died in hospital.
Maria Rumsey, headteacher at St Michael’s Primary School where Leo was a pupil, said: “All the staff, parents, governors and pupils from St Michael’s school are shocked and immensely saddened to hear of the tragic death of our Year 4 pupil, Leo Latifi.
“He will be greatly missed by all.
“We wish to extend our thoughts and condolences to all of Leo’s family and friends at this saddest of times.
“Leo was a sparkle in our school.
“His face lit up the classroom and his mischievous blue eyes made us all smile.
“He was an avid scientist, who only on Wednesday, was in his element hunting for bugs on the school field.
“Leo was always keen to share his model-building and wowed the class when he brought in the finished masterpieces!
“He had a wide circle of friends in the year group, all of whom will miss him greatly.
“We are supporting all of our children and staff today as we try to come to terms with this sad loss.
“We are a strong and close community and will ensure that everybody is given the necessary help.
“In order to do this, we would ask that you respect the privacy of the family and school community at this time.”
An Essex Police spokesman said: “We were called by the ambulance service at about 6.15pm on Thursday May 23 to reports a child had been injured at Great Baddow High School in Duffield Road, Chelmsford.
“The nine-year-old boy was believed to have fallen from a locker and become trapped underneath it.
“He was taken to hospital, where he sadly died.
“We are liaising with the Health and Safety Executive.
“The child was not a pupil at the school and had been there with family members at an after-school club.”
A statement on the school’s website said it is closed on Friday “due to exceptional circumstances” except for Year 11 and Year 13 students sitting exams.
Carrie Lynch, headteacher of Great Baddow High School, said the “thoughts and prayers of everyone at Great Baddow High School” are with Leo’s family and friends, his school and swimming club.
The specialist science and sports college is described on its website as “a happy, safe and successful 11-18 school”.