Tees

Pentland Primary School pupil dies after choking on food

Floral tributes outside school
Image caption Floral tributes were left outside the school

A six-year-old girl has died after choking on a piece of food at a primary school on Teesside.

Police said the incident happened while Chantelle Firth was eating lunch at Pentland Primary School in Billingham, Teesside, on Thursday.

A spokesman for Stockton Council said staff at the school tried to help her but she died later in hospital.

Cleveland Police said a post-mortem examination found she died of choking and the death was not suspicious.

Head teacher Hazel Ducker described Chantelle as a "very popular girl".

'State of shock'

She added: "Our whole school community is devastated by the tragic loss of such lovely, gentle and kind child.

"Our pupils and staff are still in a state of shock and we are working hard to support any children who have been affected during this upsetting and difficult time.

"Our thoughts and sympathy go out to Chantelle's parents and family and we are thinking about ways in which we can all remember and commemorate her."

Chantelle died at the North Tees University Hospital in Stockton. An inquest into her death has been opened and adjourned.

Cleveland Police said parents of children at the school had been informed of what happened.

A spokeswoman said: "We are working with colleagues from the local authority to ensure appropriate support is provided to pupils and staff who have been affected by her death."

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