UCL Men’s Rugby social secretary removed following firework ‘freak accident’ at a social

A student has been seriously injured after being hit in the eye with a firework at a joint Netball and Rugby social

The UCL Men’s Rugby social secretary has been removed from his position after a firework severely injured a student at a joint Rugby and Netball social.

The student involved was taken to hospital and received treatment for the injury, and is recovering.

Both Netball and Men’s Rugby socials have been suspended following the incident.

A spokesperson for UCL Men’s Rugby said: “We are taking action to remove the social secretary from his position. We no longer consider him part of our committee and he will not again participate in club social activities, should they return.”

The social secretary declined to provide a comment when contacted by The London Tab.

According to the Men’s Rugby Club, last Wednesday the social secretary organised the firework display with the agreement of the Netball social secretaries for their joint social. “It’s important to clarify that he did not mistakenly set them off”, the club said.

A Men’s Rugby spokesperson told The London Tab: “He positioned the fireworks on a ledge of a roof adjacent to the garden where people were gathered to watch the display and set them off.”

They said the fireworks fell sideways into the garden: “Once set off, the force of the fireworks caused them to fall sideways into the garden, hitting a tarpaulin before reaching the ground. After this, more fireworks were set off from within the garden, causing serious injury to the eye of the woman in question.”

An ambulance was called to the property and the student was escorted out of the property with blood on her clothing and a blackened eye from the soot. Other students were left with burns and marked clothing.

A UCL spokesperson said: “We are appalled by this incident and are working with the Students Union UCL to understand what happened. While these investigations are underway, the Union has taken immediate action by suspending the Rugby and Netball clubs from all social activity. We will not hesitate to take further action if necessary. Meanwhile, our Student Support and Wellbeing Team has been supporting any students affected by this incident.”

The UCL Men’s Rugby Club said: “We are absolutely devastated for the woman who sustained a serious injury at the joint social with netball on Wednesday. All our thoughts are with her at this time and we wish her a full recovery. Although a freak accident, what happened was dangerous and totally unacceptable. As a club, we are responsible for ensuring that our socials are run safely, such that everyone can have a good time. We have failed in this regard, and apologise unreservedly first and foremost to the woman in question, and to everyone else there who was put in danger that night. We are approaching this incident with absolute transparency.

“People were put in serious danger, and there will be no attempt to misrepresent or mitigate this fact. The university and SU will have our full cooperation. It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the extent of the injury in question. We understand it is serious and has been incredibly traumatic for the woman in question. We did not wish to speculate further as this could misrepresent what happened, and may cause further stress to the woman in question.”

UCL Netball Club has not responded to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for UCL Students Union said: “We took immediate action upon hearing of this incident, suspending the clubs from social activity pending an investigation. Those involved have now been referred to our disciplinary process.”

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