British girl killed after bouncy castle blown across park

Video footage showed a number of ambulances at the scene of the accident. Photo / YouTube
Video footage showed a number of ambulances at the scene of the accident. Photo / YouTube

A young girl has died after strong winds blew a bouncy castle more than 150m across a park in Essex.

The victim, thought to be 7-years-old, was taking part in an Easter celebration at Harlow Town Park, in Harlow.

She was taken to hospital with serious injuries, but was later confirmed to have died.

Essex Police has confirmed that two people have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence.

It is thought the bouncy castle came loose from its "moorings" and was blown away, with the child inside.

Emergency services were called at 4.15pm yesterday (local time), with two ambulance crews and an East of England air ambulance arriving at the scene.

Footage of the aftermath of the tragic incident show several ambulances and police cars at the scene, as the girl was treated in the park.

Horrified parents took to social media after the event claiming the bouncy castle "did not look safe" and registered their shock at the events.

Terri Rickards, a Harlow mother who was at the park, described the scene on Facebook.

She said: "This is just devastating news. My two little ones were there today, both under the ages of five.

"We did not allow them on this bouncy castle as it just didn't look safe. The winds were just far too strong! I can't believe what I'm reading, such sad news. RIP little one."

Meanwhile on Twitter, Yvonne Hazard, who was in a nearby restaurant, tweeted: "I was in the Toby opposite Harlow Park when the tragedy happened today. Just awful.

"A lady who came into Toby's saw it rolling over & over. We was all praying no one was still in it. Such a tragedy."

Raindrops spatter the camera lens in the footage, uploaded to YouTube by Your Harlow Films, as stormy weather continues to buffet the park.

A spokesman said the girl had serious injuries and was in a critical condition, but police later confirmed she had died as a result of the accident.

It is thought she was taken to Princess Alexandra hospital in Harlow, where she later died.

Officers are working with the Health and Safety Executive as their investigations continue.

It is the second bouncy castle disaster at Harlow Town Park in less than a year, after another collapsed with children inside in May 2015.

Parents who leapt into the inflatable to rescue their children described it as "something out of a horror film".

Harlow Council officials visited the fair to carry out an investigation into what happened.

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service last night said: "Our thoughts are with the friends and family involved on this sad day."

A spokeswoman for the Health and Safety Executive said it was assisting police.

Last year a bouncy castle collapsed while children were playing on it during a funfair in the park.

Harlow Council officers visited the site following the incident last May and suggested a number of health and safety improvements, including better stewarding of the event.

It was reported at the time that three children had to be treated by paramedics when the inflatable castle collapsed on them.

After news of Saturday's tragedy broke, Conservative MP for Harlow Robert Halfon tweeted: "My thoughts and heart go to family."

- Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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