Girl dies on bouncy castle
A seven-year-old English girl has died after a bouncy castle she was playing inside was swept off the ground by a strong gust of wind.
The incident happened at an Easter fair at Harlow Town Park, Essex Saturday afternoon. Emergency crews were called after an inflatable was blown more than 150 metres away from its post.
The girl, who police have identified as Summer Grant from Norwich, England, was rushed to hospital, but succumbed to multiple injuries a few hours later, according a news release issued by Essex police Sunday evening.
“This is a very tragic incident where a young girl has lost her life,” Det. Daniel Stoten said in the release. “My deepest sympathies go out to her family.”
Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are leading an investigation into how the inflatable became airborne.
Ray Smith of the Showmans Guild of Great Britain said the castle had been displaced by “a sudden gust.” He said if the winds had been consistently high, the castle and other inflatables would have been closed.
Police say a 24-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man, both from Cambridgeshire, England, have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence. They have been released on bail pending further inquiries and have not been identified.
Conservative MP for Harlow Robert Halfon posted a statement on Facebook following the tragedy. “I will be asking the relevant authorities to start an urgent inquiry as to how this tragedy happened, and to find out who is responsible, especially given events last year, and to consider whether bouncy castles such as this should be banned from Harlow Town fairs, until we can be sure that they are completely safe, so such a horrific tragedy never happens again.”
According to U.K. media reports from May 2015, an inflatable at a Harlow Town Park fun fair collapsed while children were playing in it, prompting three kids to be treated by paramedics.
A similar incident happened in May 2014 when three children were injured after a bouncy castle in upstate New York lifted more than 15 metres into the air.
A Canadian-led study from 2014 found more children are injured on inflatables than on mechanical amusement rides.
With files from The Associated Press