Student rescued after falling down air intake at Dover Bay Secondary School in Nanaimo


WorkSafe B.C. is investigating after a student fell through a grate at Dover Bay Secondary School on Thursday morning.

According to Nanaimo Fire Rescue, at around 9 a.m., a male student fell down a hole on school grounds that is normally covered with a grate. The student dropped just over 5 metres (17 feet).

A friend, who saw what happened, says his friend, a Grade 8 student, was shooting a water gun and playing with friends when he fell down the hole. The witness went and told a teacher.

Students say the covering is usually closed and locked.

Investigators look at a closed grate on June 22. The grate, located at Dover Bay Secondary School, was open when a student fell down and had to be rescued.

A special technical rescue team from Nanaimo Fire Rescue hauled the boy up around 10:30 a.m. “He had a lower right leg injury and was complaining of a sore back,” Cpt. Peter Hyne said.

The boy was taken to hospital with a broken ankle. Hyne says he was “very lucky” not to have been injured more seriously.

The Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools School District 68 is also looking into the incident. It says the space is an air intake for the school.

“I’m very concerned about this absolutely,” says the District’s Scott Saywell. “We’re going to investigate and see what we can do to ensure it doesn’t happen (again).”

The Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District says only some facilities staff would have keys for the lock to the grate.

It was the last day of classes at Dover Bay Secondary. 

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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