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Taradale Primary School investigation complete
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Taradale Primary School investigation complete

16 November 2015

WorkSafe New Zealand has completed its investigation into the tragic death of a pupil at Taradale Primary School and will not be taking any legal action.

The investigation found that the circumstances which caused the death of nine year old Aryan Banerjee were not reasonably foreseeable, and no charges were legally justified.

Aryan died in hospital in September – more than three months after he was strangled when his clothing caught on a window latch handle as he tried to climb out of the toilet near his classroom. He had found himself stuck in the toilet unable to open the door, which was being repaired and had been left unattended without a door handle.

WorkSafe’s chief inspector, Keith Stewart, says Aryan’s death was a terrible tragedy for his family, the school and the wider Taradale community.

“Your heart cannot help but go out to the Banerjee family. By all accounts Aryan was a bright and bubbly boy and his loss in such a senseless way is unbearably sad.

“But in the end Aryan’s death was not something that anyone could have reasonably seen coming. WorkSafe’s enquiries have not turned up any similar incidents involving a window latch handle in New Zealand.

“Yes – it was possible to foresee that someone might have found themselves stuck in the toilet. But it is not reasonable to think that the school or the worker involved should have planned to avoid the possibility of someone being so seriously injured climbing out a ground floor window and being caught on the latch.

“I know the investigation process has been tough for the Banerjees but it was important to take the time to look into this matter and the legal issues surrounding it thoroughly,” says Keith Stewart.

On Friday WorkSafe met with Aryan’s family and informed the school about the investigation’s outcome. His death will now be the subject of a coroner’s inquest to formally determine the cause of death.

NOTE: With the coroner’s inquest still to be held WorkSafe cannot release the investigation report at this stage, even under the Official Information Act.

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