AN investigation is under way after the sudden death of a caretaker who died shortly after being found unwell at his Sunderland school.
Emergency services were called to Willow Fields Primary School at 12.45pm on Wednesday, after concerns about the welfare of site supervisor, Clive Fallon.
The 33-year-old, who lived on the school site, was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Police say his death is being treated as unexplained.
The school’s headteacher, Jonathan Twidle, said: “We would appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding at this difficult time for everyone at Willow Fields Primary.
“Children, families and staff have all been made aware of what has happened, and are receiving counselling and emotional support.
“It would be inappropriate to comment any further at this stage, but we will continue to work together in the interests of everyone at the school and keep everyone informed as best we can.”
Yesterday, children at the school were sent home with letters telling parents the cause of Mr Fallon’s death was as yet unexplained, and counselling was available to the children.
Neighbours of the school in Winslow Close, Witherwack, said they had seen the emergency services arrive during the afternoon.
A 76-year-old man, who lives with his wife, also 76, in Woolwich Road, said: “I saw three police cars and an ambulance go in, and then the ambulance later went away, but there were no blue lights flashing or anything like that.
“I thought ‘Had there been an accident at the school?’.”
A 38-year-old mum, who lives in Fontburn Court, added: “I had just come in from work and saw the ambulance going away from the school. Then I saw police cars out the back, and then I’ve since heard what happened.”
A mum, 36, who has two children at the school, told the Echo: “It was the kids who came out at the end of the day and said there had been a problem, but we didn’t know what for, but then it’s going around now and that’s as much as we know.
“It’s just been such a shock to everybody. It’s just scary.”
Another mum, aged 25, added: “We’ve just found out from the school and it’s quite a shock.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police, said: “A post-mortem examination was carried out and proved inconclusive, so the death is being treated as unexplained.”
The Coroner’s Office said an inquest was likely to be opened today.