Twenty ponies from a holiday camp in northwest France ran over a group of children as they tried to flee the scene, local authorities said on Wednesday. Three of them are hospitalized in serious condition after suffering head trauma, and another 12 were injured, in addition to two monitors who accompanied the group.
According to the prosecutor of Rennes, Brittany, Philippe Astruc, the children, aged between 9 and 13, were at the Haute Hairie equestrian center, where they would participate in a riding course with the ponies.
When one of the monitors went to get the animals inside the fence they were on, one of them turned around for an unknown reason. “The other animals followed him and galloped off. As they fled, they knocked down and ran over the group,” the prosecutor explained in a statement.
According to information from the local newspaper “Ici’, in Saint-M’Hervé, where the center is located, the incident happened around 9 pm on Tuesday (19).
In addition to the three seriously injured children, two others had to be transported by helicopter to a hospital in Rennes, but they are no longer at risk of death.
In total, 45 firefighters were mobilized for the operation, in addition to ten ambulances and two helicopters. A team of psychologists was made available to families who came to pick up their children at the equestrian center this morning.
The site organizes summer camps for children and is situated on 20 hectares of land. On its website, the center proposes numerous activities with groups of up to 25 children.