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  1. ITV Report

Parents' scathing attack after teenager dies in sweltering Morocco heat

The parents of a teenager from south east London who died in sweltering heat on a trekking trip in Morocco have launched a scathing attack on the company which organised it.

Samuel Boon. Credit: Family image

The father of 17-year-old Samuel, Ken, said they would never have allowed him to go on the trip in the Summer of 2012 if they had known about arrangements for emergency care put in place by schools expedition company World Challenge.

If we had known that in an emergency there would have been no helicopter, no ambulance, no medic, in fact the best emergency response available was a mini-bus with no medical assistance, we would never have allowed Sam to go.

In fact I don't think there is any school in the country that would go.

– Ken Boon

Ken Boon's comments come after after the conclusion of an inquest into his son's death held in Bromley.

South London Assistant Coroner, Selena Lynch, returned a conclusion of misadventure.

  • The inquest heard he collapsed on July 17 that year while trekking in the foothills of the High Atlas mountains in temperatures of 39 celsius during a school trip to the region
  • The teenager was 6ft 2ins tall and weighed 20 stone
  • A local guide was asked to get an ambulance but over an hour later, a mini bus arrived to transport the teenager to a local medical facility

Plans for evacuation relied almost entirely upon local agents to find and obtain appropriate facilities. They were appointed without their qualifications being checked or references obtained, and were not given any formal training.

There were no arrangements in place for an ambulance with medical equipment and/or personnel to be provided in an emergency, and the facilities at local medical centres had not been assessed.

– Selena Lynch, South London Assistant Coroner
. Credit: ITV News

Speaking outside the inquest, Sam Elms, Chief Executive of Bexley Business Academy, said:

If we had been made aware from the beginning that in the event of an emergency the best that we could hope for was a local minibus with not even the most basic medical facilities or equipment on board and no trained medic to save lives, we would not as an academy have signed off on the trip.

I urge schools and academies involved in World Challenge expeditions to examine all aspects of the organisation of the trip, particularly the choice of expedition leader, in-country staff and evacuation procedures.

The academy community is devastated by the loss of Sam Boon and will never be the same again.

Claire Reynolds has been following the story.