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20-foot fall inside Fort Gibraltar sends 17 children and an adult to hospital

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An investigation is underway after 17 children on a field trip from St. John’s-Ravenscourt along with an adult fell nearly 20 feet inside Fort Gibraltar on Wednesday, May 31, 2023.

The incident happened just before 10:00 am. School officials have confirmed that the students involved were a group of grade 5 students at the school.

Police on the scene of a serious accident at Fort Gibraltar on May 31, 2023 (News4.ca)
Two sections of a walkway collapsed at Fort Gibraltar injuring 17 children (News4.ca)

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Assistant Chief Jay Shaw said that the students “fell approximately 15 to 20 feet inside the Fort Gibraltar complex.” A parent of one of the injured students told News 4 that the students had been walking on a bridge when they heard “cracking sounds” as it collapsed.

Chantelle Craig area resident (News4.ca)

Chantelle Craig lives near the fort and said she became concerned after several ambulances and firetrucks arrived at the fort. “It was just ambulance after ambulance, and fire truck after fire truck,” she said. “There was at least five ambulances, there was at least five fire trucks. It was all hands on deck.”

Craig said “There were two or three (Children) that came out on stretchers and then the five or six children had walked out on their own and got into M.I.R.V.” (WFPS Major Incident Response Vehicle)

In a media release Health Sciences Centre said they declared a Code Orange shortly after learning about the potential mass casualty event at Fort Gibraltar.

Dr. Karen Gripp, medical director of the children’s hospital emergency department (News4.ca)

Dr. Karen Gripp, medical director of the children’s hospital emergency department said that about half of the children had already been discharged by mid-afternoon, one child was being kept overnight for observation and the remainder were expected to be discharged later in the day. She said that most of the injuries involved broken bones and none of the injuries are life-threatening.

Fort Gibraltar is owned and operated by the Festival du Voyager and sits on property owned by the City of Winnipeg. It is expected that over the coming days, inspectors with the city will be looking into the cause of the collapse.

— with files from Keega Driedger

Correction: Based on information from officials, an earlier version of this story indicated 16 children and one adult were injured. Officials later clarified that 17 children and one adult were injured.

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