Fifteen children and two supervisors from a summer camp injured in an accident at an equestrian center. Tuesday evening, at 8:50 p.m., in the town of Saint-M’Hervé at a place called La Haute Hairie, near Vitré in Ille-et-Vilaine, a stampede of ponies left 17 injured, including 15 children. Three of them were evacuated in absolute urgency. 20 minutes report on this accident.
What happened ?
According to the first elements of the investigation revealed by the public prosecutor of Rennes, Philippe Astruc, “the children and two companions took around twenty double ponies to the field. On the long path of a hundred meters, one of the ponies, probably the lead one, turned around for an undetermined reason, followed by others. In their flight, the animals jostled and knocked down the group. The horses, unridden and unleaded, used to take this route.
The two adults and 15 children were injured, three children were evacuated, two of them by helicopter from the Ille-et-Vilaine and Maine-et-Loire Samu “in absolute urgency, without their vital prognosis being engaged”, indicate the firefighters of Ille-et-Vilaine.
“The families have been notified by the equestrian center and the gendarmerie” of the accident, announces the prosecutor.
What condition are the injured?
“The prognosis today is favorable” for the three most seriously injured children, aged 7 to 11, said Professor Louis Soulat, head of emergencies at Rennes University Hospital, during a press briefing on Wednesday morning. All were able to return home except two children. A child born in 2011 suffering from various fractures is in pediatric surgery with an ITT of at least 50 days. A child born in 2014 who suffers from head fractures is still in pediatric intensive care.
The seriously injured children were victims of “facial trauma following hoof kicks”, in particular “fractures of the bones of the face”, according to Professor Soulat. The two adults suffered from “post-traumatic stress”, according to the same source.
According to the prefecture, a “medico-psychological emergency cell” has been set up.
Opening an investigation
She was entrusted by the Rennes prosecutor’s office to the Vitré research brigade. The equestrian center where the accident took place hosted a summer camp of 26 children aged 9 to 13 years. One of the supervisors had the BAFA, the other is a trainee and holder of a gallop 3 in horse riding. The investigations focus on verifying compliance with the regulations, in particular the number of supervisors and the diplomas required for this purpose. “A first analysis, which will however have to be deepened, concluded in this respect that there is insufficient supervision”, according to the prosecution. The law imposes a leader for 12 children over 6 years old.
The prosecutor specifies that “the accident seems to find its cause in part in the dual nature of the activity consisting both in the supervision of the group of children and in the transit of a large group of animals without modalities allowing to ensure their eventual control”. All hearings were carried out without any custody measures. Investigations are continuing “in order to determine possible criminal responsibilities”.