PINE Rivers parishioners have united to grieve for an 11 year-old schoolgirl who died in a fireworks tragedy at the parish school’s fete on May 20. An explosion killed Year 7 student Dominique Baxendell and injured six others.
Students, parishioners and other residents have placed hundreds of floral tributes on the school oval, remembering Dominique, whose funeral was held on May 25.
The school resumed regular classes on May 22, with counsellors from Brisbane Catholic Education and Centacare helping parents, students and staff come to terms with the tragedy.
Phone and fax messages of condolence had been received from many Australian bishops and from schools, some as far away as New Zealand.
The fireworks display which went so terribly wrong at the school’s millennium fete had been passed by a safety inspector. Premier Peter Beattie said the inspector had been satisfied with the precautions taken.
A Bray Park woman, 36, who has not been named, suffered severe head injuries.
Kevin Crutcher, a parent of students at the school, lost a leg in the explosion. He was in a satisfactory condition in hospital. Four other people were admitted to hospital. Three of them had been released by early last week.
A special whole-of-school memorial liturgy was to be celebrated in Holy Spirit School’s Friendship Court on May 26, with parents also invited.
Brisbane Catholic Education director David Hutton said it was too early to know what course of action his office would take in relation to the accident.
“Everything was done according to regulations,” he said. “The licence was checked and the Department of Mines and Energy signed off on the whole process.