Tyne & Wear

Karl Doran Beamish Museum tribute fund nears target

Karl Doran
Image caption Karl Doran died at Beamish Museum after suffering severe head injuries

A fund set up in memory of a schoolboy killed in a steam engine accident at a County Durham museum has almost reached its target after just three days.

Karl Doran, from Darlington, died of head injuries after apparently falling off the engine at Beamish Museum, in Stanley, on Sunday.

An online appeal set up by a wellwisher with a target of £500 has raised £459.

The parents of the seven-year-old have also issued a statement, thanking the public for messages of support.

Phil Doran and Karen Bolam said: "We've been overwhelmed by the messages of condolence we've received since our much-loved little boy died on Sunday.

"Karl enjoyed martial arts, swimming and cycling but was never happier than when he was at Beamish.

"We take some small comfort from knowing that he died doing something he loved. He will be missed forever."

'Touching gesture'

Durham Police has confirmed that Karl's father was driving the vehicle when the incident took place.

The fund was set up by wellwisher Andrew Barnes to raise money for Karl's family and so far 37 people have donated money.

A statement from Beamish Museum said: "Thank you again to everyone for their kind words this week.

"The fund set up by Andrew Barnes to raise funds in Karl's memory is a very touching gesture.

"It is very early days and we are in close contact with the Doran family about how they would like any money which is donated to be used."

The Health and Safety Executive is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death.

Det Ch Insp Victoria Fuller, of Durham police, said officers had spoken to a number of witnesses as well as bus and tram passengers who passed the traction engine before the accident.

Mr Doran and his son were both steam enthusiasts and frequent volunteers at Beamish.

The museum is still open to the public but the steam engine is no longer in use, the spokeswoman confirmed.

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