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Police probe mystery death of 9-year-old boy

Birmingham Mail logo Birmingham Mail 4/03/2017 Jane Tyler
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The uncle of a young primary schoolboy who died suddenly had dismissed a suggestion that the youngster was allergic to fish he had eaten for lunch.

The little boy, aged nine, fell ill at Al-Hijrah School, in Bordesley Green, on Friday afternoon.

Paramedics were called after the child suddenly collapsed.

He was rushed to Heartlands Hospital where he later died.

His death has stunned the school.

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Police said an investigation was under way after reports that the pupil had suffered a “suspected allergic reaction.”

The parent of another child claimed the boy had suffered an allergic reaction after eating fish for lunch.

But the boy’s uncle, who gave his name as Mo, said: “At the moment the death is a mystery and we won’t know the reason until there has been a proper investigation.

“My nephew had a dairy allergy but was not allergic to fish as far as is known, so it is wrong to suggest that is what happened.

“He was a bright, very happy child and he was loved by his school.”

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Mo said the boy had been very close to his young brother and sister and his death had devastated the whole family.

“But there has been nothing yet to confirm how he died.

“We have been left in the dark, we don’t know the cause of his death and we won’t know until an investigation has been completed.”

He declined to name the child and said the boy’s parents were too upset to talk.

“It is too soon for that,” he said.

The parent of the other child who made the fish allergy claim has a son is in the same class as the boy who died. He did not wish to be identified.

He said parents were shocked, angry and worried because it was the latest serious incident to hit the school recently.

The school is in special measures after its last Ofsted inspection, and there is also an investigation into financial irregularities.

Al-Hijrah, in Burbidge Road, is a primary and secondary school with around 780 pupils aged five to 16.

Although it is funded and managed by Birmingham City Council, it is not a faith school but all of its pupils are Muslim and the curriculum follows an Islamic ethos.

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A West Midland Police spokesman said it was investigating.

He said: “Emergency services were called to the Al Hijrah School in Burbidge Road, Bordesley Green at 2.20pm Friday 3 March, following reports a pupil had collapsed after suffering a suspected allergic reaction.

“The boy was rushed to Heartlands Hospital, where he tragically later died.

“A post mortem will take place and the child’s family are being supported by specially trained officers.”

Police are working with the school and Birmingham City Council to establish the circumstances around his death.

Colin Diamond, executive director for education at Birmingham City Council, said: “We were so sorry to hear about this tragic death and our thoughts are with his family and friends.

“We know the school is doing all it can to support the family through this terrible time and we are working with the school and police as they continue to look into the circumstances.”

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