Young Boy Burnt In Chemical Vat

Accident On Work Premises


A nine-year-old boy has been seriously burned after falling into a container of caustic soda.

The young boy, known locally as Brooklyn Briggs, fell though the roof of a derelict building in Rawmarsh, Rotherham, and into the vat of caustic soda - also known as sodium hydroxide.

The chemical, which can cause severe burns, scarring and blindness, had been used to strip furniture.

The accident occurred when the boy went to retrieve his football from the roof of the disused workshop. Witnesses said he screamed for help and looked as though he was covered in blood.

He was taken to Rotherham District General Hospital before being transferred to the burns unit at Sheffield Children's Hospital.

The boy's mother said she and her husband rushed to the scene after hearing about the incident from one of his friends.

Tracey Briggs said: "One of his friends actually came up to our house and knocked on the door, screaming that Brooklyn had dropped into some acid.

"As I got there he was in Gary's arms just screaming 'help me daddy, help me daddy, please help me'."

The accident is now being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive but the boy is said to be in a stable condition.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This was a terrible accident, the circumstances of which are currently the subject of an investigation.

"Whilst I cannot comment on this specific case, generally, owners and occupiers of property have a duty of care to ensure that their premises are safe. Some of these duties extend both to lawful and unlawful visitors.

"The greater the hazard on a property the greater the safety precautions that should be in place.

"I regularly represent people injured or killed on others premises. Such cases fall under what is known as either public liability or occupier's liability claims."