Grampians rescue: 13-year-old school girl on life support

UPDATE

Monday

The Royal Children’s Hospital have confirmed a 13-year-old Moama girl who was airlifted to Melbourne after a fall during school camp, remains in a serious condition. 

A hospital spokeswoman said the girl was no longer in a critical condition.

PREVIOUSLY

Friday

A 13-YEAR-OLD Moama girl remains on life support after falling six metres from a cliff in the Grampians. 

Halls Gap Sergeant Scott Olsen said the girl was one of 10 students and two adults hiking as a Moama Anglican Grammar school group in the park on Thursday. 

He said the group was walking between Mt Zero and Mt Stapylton when she fell at Taipan Wall gorge about 3.50pm.

“She fell down an embankment and a six-metre cliff,” he said. 

“Unfortunately she landed head first and sustained serious head and chest injuries.

“She was airlifted from the gorge by air ambulance, which landed a short distance away where road crews worked on her.”

Sergeant Olsen said the girl was put in an induced coma, intubated and flown to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne about 9pm.

He said she underwent surgeries overnight but remained on life support in a critical condition. 

Sergeant Olsen said the girl’s parents were notified immediately. 

He said they travelled from Moama to meet the air ambulance in Melbourne and had remained by her bedside since. 

About 30 emergency service ground staff were involved in the rescue, with a command post set up in Mt Zero car park.

Sergeant Olsen said the Warrnambool Country Fire Authority high-angle rescue unit, Hamilton CFA, Ararat State Emergency Services high-angle rescue specialists, Stawell SES, Laharum CFA, Horsham CFA and Halls Gap police attended. 

He said crews worked through a treacherous area to reach the girl.

Sergeant Olsen said authorities did not believe the girl or the group were behaving inappropriately or doing anything wrong. 

“Where they were was a standard walking track,” he said.

“We don’t think there’s anything untoward – she probably stumbled and was unable to pull up, when you’re falling you gain momentum and she went over the edge.

“It’s very unfortunate considering the number of school groups that attended and enjoy the Grampians National Park.

“It’s very rare anything like this happens, school groups are always well supervised and so was this one.

“It’s a tragic accident.”

An Ambulance Victoria spokesperson said paramedics treated other students at the scene.

School spokeswoman Grace Jeffrey said the camp was called off, with students and teachers due to return to Moama on Friday afternoon.

"Our main priority is with the student and her family and we request that their privacy is respected," Ms Jeffrey said.

"The remaining staff and students are returning today and the school is providing support to all concerned."

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