Family's tribute to girl killed in wall collapse

The family of a pupil killed by a collapsing wall at her school have spoken of their loss, saying that the youngster "dreamed of being prime minister".

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Keane Wallis-Bennett, a 12-year-old pupil at Edinburgh's Liberton High School, died when a modesty wall in the school's PE block collapsed on Tuesday.

Her family said: "Keane will be sadly missed by all her family and friends. She was our princess who dreamed of being prime minister. But failing that, a beautician.

"She loved her girlfriends and her days out shopping with lunches and all things girly. She recently attended her first under-18 disco and loved every second of it and was excited to be going to see One Direction in concert."

Liberton High School head teacher Stephen Kelly also issued a statement paying tribute to Keane and expressing shock at her death.

He said: "She was a popular team player, who took an active role in projects such as the Junior Awards Scheme Scotland. She showed a lot of sporting ability and was really eager to contribute to the school, for example, by clearing litter and planting bulbs in the school grounds.

"She had a real presence in class and her friends and my staff are deeply shocked and upset at what has happened. I am very grateful for the support that our school community is receiving as we come to terms with this tragic event."

A carpet of flowers has been laid under the entrance sign to the school. One message read: "You are missed by so many people, you don't deserve to die this young."

Liberton Northfield church, yards from the school, opened yesterday for pupils, friends and the local community to reflect on the death. A book of condolence has been opened and candles lit by visitors.

Chaplain Reverend Cammy Mackenzie said it would remain open over the next few days to give people the opportunity to talk to someone, or reflect privately on the events.

A programme of building checks by surveyors is under way at the school, which will not reopen this week, and a full survey will be completed before pupils return from the Easter holidays in three weeks' time. An Edinburgh City Council spokesman said: "As a precaution, specialist council building services staff will be surveying all similar walls in schools where we know that they exist."


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