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Leisure centre door crashes onto eight-year-old girl

By Andrew Dixon

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Rachel Tynan
Rachel Tynan

AN eight-year-old girl had to be taken to hospital after a large glass and metal door fell on her as she left Inverness Leisure Centre.

Investigations are now under way into how one of the four eight feet high entrance doors landed on Rachel Tynan and her nine-year-old friend.

Rachel took the worst of the impact and was treated at Raigmore Hospital for minor head injuries and bruising.

She had been put in a neck brace by paramedics, who carried her from the scene on a stretcher.

Her mother Rona, a former police officer, believes Rachel could have been killed had a teenage boy not grabbed the door and absorbed some of the impact.

A woman also put her foot in the way of the door to try and divert it, injuring her ankle in the process.

Four adults were needed to lift the door off the girls.

“I couldn’t think straight and I didn’t know where anyone was for a few minutes, it was scary,” said Crown Primary pupil Rachel.

“I had just walked out and someone was walking through another door. I heard a click and thought it wasn’t anything but a second later I had been hit on the head and I fell to the ground.

“They tried to figure out what happened but they didn’t know. I couldn’t see anything wrong with the door when I used it.”

Rachel and her friend, whose mother was with them, were walking away from the building after swimming and athletics classes when the door fell from its hinges.

Northern Constabulary confirmed it was not treating the incident as suspicious, while the Health and Safety Executive has also been alerted.

Rachel has bumps on her head, bruising on her back and is in pain when walking but returned to school yesterday Mondayfollowing the incident at 6pm last Wednesday.

“I’m worried in case there are any lingering problems because she hurt her head,” admitted Mrs Tynan, of Kingsmills Park, Crown.

“I wasn’t there but I think that by the full force of the impact being broken, they have either saved her life or prevented her from suffering very serious injuries. That’s down to them and luck.”

Mrs Tynan, a police officer for 20 years before retiring due to Multiple Sclerosis, is unhappy no-one from the leisure centre has been in touch with her to ask about her daughter’s wellbeing or offer an explanation.

“In a million years that door should not have fallen off onto my little girl.”

She and her former policeman husband Michael, a recruitment officer for the Orion Group in Inverness, also have an 11-year-old son Callum.

Leisure centre managers are to hold an emergency meeting with Kawneer, the door manufacturer, to establish what went wrong.

The door was checked during the leisure centre’s closure over Christmas and New Year.

“One of the doors appears to have come loose from the fixing mechanism for no apparent reason,” said an Inverness Leisure spokesman.

“Whilst being disappointed the incident occurred, facility management are obviously glad there were no serious injuries and will work with the manufacturer and other bodies to ensure the doors are safely replaced as soon as possible.

“A member of the company’s senior management team will be in touch with those affected over the course of this week.”

Kawneer was not able to comment on the incident yesterday.

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