Black Velvet Alannah Myles
7 March 2013, 06:03
It's the funeral later of a 13-year-old girl from Slough who died after falling from a ski lift during a school trip.
A teenage girl who died after falling from a ski lift during a school trip to the Italian Alps got up and promised she was "fine'' before collapsing 20 minutes later, her family said today.
13-year-old Poonam Bhattal from Slough fell 20ft on to the piste in the resort of Claviere last month but still wanted to join her friends in another ski lift before dying a short while later.
The schoolgirl, who was described as "a happy-go-lucky, beautiful girl'', was having a ski lessons with classmates from the Guru Nanak Sikh Academy in Hayes, Middlesex, when she boarded the chairlift on the morning of February 22nd.
Ahead of her funeral today, her parents, who have not been named, issued a statement through the Foreign Office, which read:
"On the 22nd February, just seconds after ascending on the chair lift at the ski resort, Poonam slipped off the chair from some 20ft, falling on a snow piste.
"Poonam got up and said 'I'm fine, I'm fine, I promise' and wanted to join her friends back on the chair lift.
"Poonam sadly passed away from internal bleeding 20 minutes later, the cause of the death was due to a small laceration of the right superior pulmonary vein.
"Poonam was a lovely, happy-go-lucky, beautiful girl who led an honest, happy life.
"Poonam was one of three daughters and was a perfect daughter, caring for others and striving to put a smile on everyone's face.
"Nothing could stop her from laughing or having a good time as well as her dream of being famous and to be known across the globe.''
One of Poonam's sisters, Amreeta, said: "My sister had a heart of gold, we were getting closer as we were getting older and she will always live in my heart.''
Her parents added: "We would like to thank all relatives, friends, Guru Nanak Sikh Academy, the UK and Italian authorities for their support, good wishes & prayers at this very difficult time.
"Today will be Poonam's 'Final Farewell'.''
The school's principal, Rajinder Singh Sandhu, broke the news of the teenager's death to her family at the time.
In a statement, he said the half-term excursion was led by the vice principal of the school with the help of two assistant head teachers and "a massively experienced team of eight staff''.
"The leader of this trip and everyone associated with it is devastated by the death of an absolutely lovely student,'' he said.
"The vice principal leading the trip has vast experience - having led 28 of such trips throughout his teaching career.
"He is obsessive about safety and security on these trips.''