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Primary school principal almost loses his finger in a bizarre tug-of-war accident

Primary school principal almost loses his finger in a bizarre men versus women tug-of-war accident at an annual picnic

  • A New Zealand school will no longer hold tug-of-war games at its annual picnic
  • The decision comes after the principal almost lost his finger in a freak accident 
  • Principal Daniel Pepper was injured during the men vs women tug-of-war match 
  • While some said the decision was extreme, the school said safety comes first

A New Zealand school will no longer hold tug-of-war games at its annual school picnic after the principal almost lost his finger in a freak accident.

Principal Daniel Pepper was injured during the men versus women tug-of-war match at St Dominic’s Primary School’s annual family picnic at Blockhouse Bay in New Zealand’s North Island on Friday night.

Mr Pepper, who was at the front of the fathers’ side, fell to the ground and injured his hand – along with several other fathers – when the rope suddenly snapped.

Principal Daniel Pepper (pictured) was injured during the men vs women tug-of-war match at St Dominic’s Primary School’s annual family picnic on Friday night

The school has held the event at the annual picnic for the past eight years and, according to the school's Facebook page (pictured), is usually 'the highlight of the evening'

The school has held the event at the annual picnic for the past eight years and, according to the school’s Facebook page (pictured), is usually ‘the highlight of the evening’

The school principal was then rushed to Middlemore Hospital by ambulance with two other fathers, who needed to take a day off work on Saturday. 

Board chairman Damion Kaukau told the New Zealand Herald Mr Pepper required surgery to restore his finger as a result of the bizarre accident. 

‘From my understanding he just lost some skin and some flesh off his finger. He had to get it operated on to put it back together,’ Mr Kaukau said.  

Nothing like this has ever happened before at the picnic and even the surgeons said it was a freak occurrence, he added.

The school has held the event at the annual picnic for the past eight years, according to the school’s Facebook page.

This year’s invite stated: ‘Not to be missed and highly contested each year! (Dads have won 3 years in a row from memory…’

Mr Kaukau said the highly anticipated event drew a much bigger crowd this year, with at least 100 mums and dads lining up for the tug-of-war game.  

Her said during the game the rope suddenly parted.

‘The women were okay, it was just the men. Maybe the women have been going to the gym a bit more than the men have,’ Mr Kaukau said. 

Mr Pepper has been the school’s principal since 2010 and, over the years, has developed close relationships with families of most of the students.

Mr Pepper, who was at the front of the fathers' side, fell to the ground and injured his hand - along with several other fathers - when the rope suddenly snapped (stock image)

Mr Pepper, who was at the front of the fathers’ side, fell to the ground and injured his hand – along with several other fathers – when the rope suddenly snapped (stock image)

While St Dominic's was quick to say it would no longer hold the annual game, Swanson Primary School principal Leandro Piantelli said they were being overly cautious

While St Dominic’s was quick to say it would no longer hold the annual game, Swanson Primary School principal Leandro Piantelli said they were being overly cautious

Following the incident, the school posted a message on Facebook to keep concerned parents up to date on the principal’s progress.

‘I know you are all concerned and I’m sure we will hear an update when possible,’ the message stated.  

The message also stated Mr Pepper is due to return to work next week. 

While the school was quick to say it would no longer hold the annual game, Swanson Primary School principal Leandro Piantelli said they were being overly cautious.

But Mr Kaukau said safety would always be paramount at the school.

‘So unless we start measuring how much pressure our rope can take, we won’t be doing it again,’ he said. 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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