Another peanut allergy fatality
My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Peanut allergy girl dies
By Audrey Snee
Chip shop the girl collapsed after eating
A TEN-YEAR-OLD girl died of a suspected peanut allergy on Southend's Golden Mile after eating at a seafront restaurant.
The girl, who eyewitnesses named as Jessica, is believed to have come from Kent on a day trip with family and friends, including her mother, grandmother and brother.
The family had a meal at Clarke's Fish Restaurant, in Marine Parade, before she fell ill about 7.45pm on Friday.
She was taken to hospital, but died just after 9pm.
The manager of Clarke's, who gave his name as Mr Prewer, confirmed the family had eaten in the restaurant and had mentioned Jessica's allergy.
He told the Echo: "We told them we fry everything in ground nut oil, so she had nothing fried and had a pie.
"I will be talking with the coroner's office today and do not wish to say anything more."
Eyewitnesses said the girl collapsed outside the neighbouring Liberty Belle pub and was given first aid by a passer-by, before the emergency services arrived.
A worker at the Sunspot Arcade, in Marine Parade, who asked not to be named, saw Jessica collapse. He said: "She did not seem to be conscious and her face was going blue.
"She received some chest compression, but I could see her arms and hands going blue. When the paramedic arrived he picked her up and ran with her to the ambulance."
Paul Hughes, manager of the Liberty Belle, said: "I heard a girl had collapsed outside and, by the time I got there, a member of the public was doing some first-aid.
"The mother and grandmother were in tatters and, as someone was helping the girl, I called an ambulance, which arrived within about five minutes.
"The family mentioned she had asthma and a peanut allergy. The mother and grandmother got into the ambulance with the paramedic and the rest got into a vehicle parked nearby."
Mr Hughes said the incident had shocked a lot of people.
He said: "We see a lot of things down here on the seafront, but not that, nothing ever like that.
"The staff would like to say how totally devastated they are by what happened and would like to pass on our condolences to the family."
The ambulance service sent out a rapid response car after being called out.
Paul Leverett, from the ambulance service's control centre, said: "She was in a serious condition when she arrived at Southend Hospital."
A post-mortem will be held on Wednesday.