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Injured Auckland toddlers now stable

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/11/2016

Two toddlers seriously injured when a tree toppled in the playground of their Auckland childcare centre are now in a stable condition.

The toddlers remain in Starship Hospital having been there from Discoveries Educare on Gillies Ave in Newmarket on Tuesday afternoon.

An Auckland District Health Board spokesman said they were in a stable condition.

Two more children were injured in the incident but are no longer in Starship's care.

Images showed the uprooted large tree lying across an outdoor play area, with media outlets reporting the centre's owner Ajit Singh saying the children had been struck by branches rather than the tree's trunk.

Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Kim Shannon said her team had been supporting the centre's staff and families since the incident.

"A traumatic incident team has visited the service to help staff restore routines when children return," she said.

"Accidents like this can impact on the emotional and physical well being of staff, children and parents."

Police earlier notified WorkSafe, which had two inspectors at the site on Tuesday and said it was conducting an investigation.

"The fallen tree was growing within the daycare centre grounds and has fallen within the property," police said in a statement.

Ms Shannon said to her "knowledge there have been no concerns raised about the safety of this tree" with the Ministry of Education.

"Each licensed service provider must comply with health and safety practices set out in their license and they are required to undertake daily hazard identification checks as part of their safety responsibilities," she said.

"We will work with the service provider to ensure it clears debris from the site and any hazards are identified and made safe."

"We will also be seeking assurances about how the service is communicating with parents about the incident."

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