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Inquest opened into school playground death

An inquest into the death of a five-year-old boy who fell from a climbing frame in Tolworth Infants playground has opened today.

Samuel Orola was found unconscious and not breathing in his school playground on September 15 2011. He is thought to have died after hitting his throat on one of the steel bars of a climbing frame at Tolworth Infants and Nursery School in Surbiton. Frantic staff tried to resuscitate him but his breathing became “raspy” and irregular as paramedics arrived. He was pronounced dead on arrival in hospital.

West London coroner’s court heard that his best friend, who alerted staff to what happened, later said Samuel was trying to do a “roly poly” on a climbing frame and hurt his neck.

Pathologist Sebastian Lucas told the jury that he was unable to find a clear cause of death after a post-mortem examination. He said it was possible Sammy had strained the vagus nerve which affects the heart after somehow twisting his neck.

In a statement issued via the Metropolitan Police, Samuel's family said his passing was 'tragic'. They added, "We would like to thank everyone for their support and good wishes. Samuel was a loving and happy boy who touched everyone's life in a very positive way."

Head teacher Rachael Nye said the adventure playground was installed in December 2010 and all the children knew how to use the equipment.

The inquest continues.

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