Poonam Bhattal, 13, dies on school skiing trip in Italy

A 13-year-old schoolgirl has died on a school skiing trip in Piemonte, northern Italy.

Poonam Bhattal from Langley, Slough, was a pupil at Guru Nanak Sikh Academy in Hayes, west London.

Skibound, which organised the trip, said she was involved in an incident on a chairlift during her morning ski school lesson in the resort Claviere.

A spokesperson for the school called it a "tragic accident" and described Poonam as a "lovely student".

Skibound said Poonam was pronounced dead at 09:30 CET on the way to hospital.

'Devastated'

The school said the vice principal leading the trip had "vast experience", was "obsessive about safety" and had led 28 trips throughout his career.

Media outlets in Italy have reported that Poonam died falling from the chairlift but this has not been confirmed by the school, which said it was not at liberty or prepared to discuss the details.

A school spokesperson said: "The leader of this trip and everyone associated with it is devastated by the death of an absolutely lovely student.

"Our thoughts are with the family and all others in the community affected by this tragedy."

A full investigation by the Italian authorities has begun.

Skibound said it was liaising with the school, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Embassy in Italy.

The school party had been on a seven-day trip and remains in Italy.

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